French theorist and feminist Simone de Beauvoir unpublished novel deemed ‘too intimate’ at the time for it’s telling of a passionate friendship she shared with a girl will be released later this year.
Written in 1954, Les inséparables follows Simone as she engages in a “passionate and tragic” friendship with a new classmate, Elisabeth “Zaza” Lacoin. They would become close and loving companions until her friend sadly died of encephalitis at the age of 21.
2 Seas Agency released a synopsis of the book, detailing, “This captivating unpublished novel, dating from 1954, tells the first passionate and tragic friendship between two rebellious young girls, Simone de Beauvoir and Zaza of which Simone de Beauvoir gives a short testimony in Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter.”
In the synopsis, it further shares, “Sylvie is instantly charmed by her new classmate. She admires her, she cherishes her, she does everything in order to make Andrée loving her back. Quickly they became inseparables until high school and Andrée’s tragic death.”
The literary agency also highlighted why the novel was never released, “Too intimate to be published in her lifetime by Simone de Beauvoir, this long unpublished text was recently found in her archives by her adopted daughter, Sylvie Le Bon-de Beauvoir, who wrote the preface.”
Beauvoir’s literary executor, Le Bon-de Beauvoir, first read the novel in 1986 with intent on seeing it published. However, other priorities stood in the way. Many years later this hidden piece of the theorist’s past will come to light.
Le Bon-de Beauvoir shared, “When she wrote it, in 1954, she had already honed her craft as a writer. She destroyed some works that she was unhappy with. She didn’t destroy this one. About her papers, she told me, ‘You’ll do as you think is right.’”
For reader’s outside of France, Vintage publishing house will release Simone’s short novel. They said, “Beauvoir’s real-life intense, formative relationship with her friend Zaza shaped, in many ways, the woman Beauvoir was to become – while Beauvoir broke free, Zaza never found a way out.”
The short novel by Simone de Beauvoir will be released in France this Fall before being published globally next year.
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