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She Came to Stay (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – 16 Jan 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (16 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007204647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007204649
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘Simone de Beauvoir has the true novelist's gift of selecting detail and creating individuals whilst refusing to sum up situations’
A.S. BYATT

‘Simone de Beauvoir is a writer whose every work I pounce on eagerly – her vision is so wide, the tale she tells is so interesting, her characterisation so psychologically profound’
YORKSHIRE POST

From the Back Cover

'It is impossible to talk about faithfulness and unfaithfulness where we are concerned. You and I are simply one. Neither of us can be described without the other.'

It was unthinkable that Pierre and Francoise should ever tire of each other. And yet, both talented and restless, they constantly feel the need for new sensations, new people. Because of this they bring the young, beautiful and irresponsible Xavière into their life who, determined to take Pierre for herself, drives a wedge between them, with unforeseeable, disastrous consequences…

Published in 1943, 'She Came to Stay' is Simone de Beauvoir's first novel. Written as an act of revenge against the woman who nearly destroyed her now legendary, unorthodox relationship with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, it echoes the events of 1935, when Sartre became infatuated with seventeen-year old Olga Bost, a pupil and devotee of de Beauvoir's. Passionately eloquent, coolly and devastatingly ironic, 'She Came to Stay' is one of the most extraordinary and powerful pieces of fictional autobiography of the twentieth century, in which de Beauvoir's 'tears for her characters freeze as they drop.'

“Simone de Beauvoir is a writer whose every work I pounce on eagerly – her vision is so wide, the tale she tells is so interesting, her characterisation so psychologically profound”
YORKSHIRE POST

“Simone de Beauvoir has the true novelist's gift of selecting detail and creating individuals whilst refusing to sum up situations”
A.S. BYATT

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
If you enjoyed Jean Paul Sartre's "Roads
To Freedom" existentialist novels, then
this book will also prove absorbing. The last
third seems to bring new depths and developments
to the characters and their situations and
it's almost like the reading equivalent of
peeling the onion. The way that France's
involvement with the Second World War
begins to permeate the idyllic (on the surface)
cafe lifestyle of Paris, more and more as
the book goes on is impressive. The ending
of the book is both grim and fascinating.
Depending on how you interpret it, it's
either a deeply disturbing and ugly end
to what's went before or it's a blackly
comic act of literary revenge/exorcism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
Simone de Beauvoir's first novel was to some degree inspired by the two uneasy 'love triangles' that she experienced in the 1930s, when she and her long-term partner Jean-Paul Sartre decided to add a second, younger women to their partnership. Sartre's relationships with the Kosakiewicz sisters - first Olga, and later Wanda, the younger sister - had a profound effect on his relationship with Beauvoir, and moved her enough to use elements of it in her fiction.

'She Came to Stay' is set in Paris shortly before World War II. Francoise and Pierre have been lovers for years. Pierre is a successful actor who runs his own company, Francoise translates, writes and arranges plays for the company, assists in the management, and in her spare time attempts to write a novel. The two have an open relationship, but it is only Pierre who has affairs; Francoise remains faithful. She does not mind Pierre's affairs, consoling herself with the belief that 'we are one' and that any other woman will only be a passing diversion for her lover. Until, that is, she introduces Pierre to Xaviere, a young woman from Rouen who she has met via one of the company actresses, and become captivated by. Unlike Pierre and Francoise, Xaviere is a purely emotional animal. She seems unable to plan her life systematically, or to concentrate on work when depressed. She is quite capable of sitting in indolence in her room for hours when the feeling takes her. For some reason - either because she's attracted to Xaviere's joie de vivre when happy, or because of a physical attraction to her - Francoise decides to pay for Xaviere to stay in Paris and hopefully find a job. When weeks go by with Xaviere doing very little, Francoise introduces her to Pierre. A mistake - Pierre becomes strongly smitten.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
A menage a trois that is saturated with a bitter, disturbing jealousy. A beautiful narrative that weaves a web of assignations, petty truculence and ambiguous passion. Set in Paris Simone de Beauvoir captures the essence of the city & imbues it with the necessary haze of alcohol, smoke and sadness to set the scene for the ensuing nightmare of recriminations. De Beauvoir's characters are painstakingly depicted, each permeated with thier own aura of mystery and banality. A brilliant story, boldy told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I adore Simone de Beauvoir's writing, and this is probably one of her most passionate and accessible books. Based on a real-life love triangle between her, Sartre and one of his young lovers, this takes a cool look at love, and dissects jealousy with scalpel-like precision.

Set in smoky, glamorous Paris amongst young intellectuals, this probes the distance between the politics of sexual relationships and the lived reality - in theory love is liberated from bourgoise jealousy and pettiness, but the reality for the women in this book is quite different.

Supremely intelligent, self-deprecating, and darkly ironic, this is de Beauvoir confronting the uncomfortable intricacies of her relationship with both Sartre and herself.
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