Inseparable: A Never-Before-Published Novel
Finalist for the French-American Florence Gould Translation Prize
A novel by the iconic Simone de Beauvoir of an intense and vivid girlhood friendship that, unpublished in her lifetime, displays "Beauvoir's genius as a fiction writer" (Wall Street Journal)
From the moment Sylvie and Andrée meet in their Parisian day school, they see in each other an accomplice with whom to confront the mysteries of girlhood. For the next ten years, the two are the closest of friends and confidantes as they explore life in a post-World War One France, and as Andrée becomes increasingly reckless and rebellious, edging closer to peril.
Sylvie, insightful and observant, sees a France of clashing ideals and religious hypocrisy--and at an early age is determined to form her own opinions. Andrée, a tempestuous dreamer, is inclined to melodrama and romance. Despite their different natures they rely on each other to safeguard their secrets while entering adulthood in a world that did not pay much attention to the wills and desires of young women.
Deemed too intimate to publish during Simone de Beauvoir's life, Inseparable offers fresh insight into the groundbreaking feminist's own coming-of-age; her transformative, tragic friendship with her childhood friend Zaza Lacoin; and how her youthful relationships shaped her philosophy. Sandra Smith's vibrant translation of the novel will be long cherished by de Beauvoir devotees and first-time readers alike.
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About the Author
Sandra Smith was born and raised in New York City. Suite française by was the first book she translated. It won her the French American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize and the PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize. She has subsequently translated several other novels by Irène Némirovsky as well as a new translation of Camus's The Outsider. Sandra is a fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge, where she continues to teach French literature, translation, and language.
"A moving portrayal of intense female friendship, identity, and loss."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The trailblazing feminist writes bracingly of the complexity of female friendships. Beauvoir's mastery of fiction further demonstrates her bravura."