Simone de Beauvoir

Okely, Judith. Simone de Beauvoir. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.

From the publisher:

Judith Okely examines the work of Simone de Beauvoir from two very different points of view. First there is the story of her initial response when she read the SECOND SEX and MEMOIRS in 1960 as a young, naïve and virginal student from England studying in Paris. This point of view is retrieved by Okely from her marginal notes and underlining of the texts. These works were a conversion experience for her and de Beauvoir becomes her life-long mentor and (intellectual) mother figure. The second point of view is as a scholar, writing some 25 years later, after de Beauvoir has been mainly ignored, dismissed and even attacked by establishment feminism. This more mature Okely examines de Beauvoir with both a critical eye as to what is telling in the contemporary attitude and what is misguided in it, especially because it is often an anachronistic critic, using criteria, attitudes and information only available long after (and perhaps because of) de Beauvoir’s writings.