Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me

Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me Review

National Book Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her fifteen remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art.

In 1971 Deirdre Bair was a journalist and recently minted Ph.D. who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written--or even read--a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Deirdre to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other--and lived essentially on the same street. While quite literally dodging one subject or the other, and sometimes hiding out in the backrooms of the great caf�s of Paris, Bair learned that what works in terms of process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.
Drawing on Bair's extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and give us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.

Title:Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me
Edition Language:English

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    Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me Reviews

  • Jeanette

    Deirdre Bair has written a bookabout the process of writing two other books about people who wrote a lot of books. And that, my friends, is just too much excavation for my simple brain to endure. If y...

  • Niklas Pivic

    Earlier this year, Michael Peppiatt’s The Existential Englishman: Paris Among the Artists was published; the book displays namedropping and some Parisian familières, and ended up as quite the end n...

  • Lindsey

    "Obviously I would need to start a different set of folders, and I went right out to buy them. The only color I had not yet used was purple, so green gave way to purple and that's what the final versi...

  • Paul Myers

    Deirdre Bair's memoir is the interrelated stories of writing biographies of Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir and Bair's own journey of discovery while launching her academic career, a process oft...

  • Rose

    "Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir" is a beautifully written book that pulls you in slowly but deeply. It isn't just about writing about two famous authors but the m...

  • Sydney

    My sister gifted me this book for my birthday knowing that I worked on a Beckett-related research project during my senior year of college - not to mention my love for Paris and feminism at large (ext...

  • Justine Francis

    3.75 stars I quite enjoyed reading this book. I found many parts of Bair's career-- especially the sexism she faced in academia, the lengths she had to go to in order to write both books, and the biog...

  • Joan

    I love to read a book about something I never considered before. Here the topic is how to go about writing a biography of a living person. What's amazing here is that the author figured it out as she ...

  • Marvin Fender

    I received this book from the Goodreads Giveaway program. The stories told in this biography/memoir/creative process compilation is very unusual and entertaining. I really like good biographies and me...

  • Jen

    DNF. Read 100 pages, skimmed rest....