This author with wide interests and published fiction and nonfiction concentrates on Simon de Beauvoir's writings for a comprehension of the purposes she defined for herself and the commitments she made. Or as Appighanesi puts it in her own words, "I have tried to render the flavour of Simone de Beauvois's singular life, her judiciousness, the vitality of her intellect, as well as highlight certain aspects of her most important books." The author gives special attention to de Beauvoir's influence through her books and her actions as a latter-day feminist; while her social ideas and activities, along with those of her lover Sartre, and her literary accomplishments are also given adequate and informative attention. Appignanesi writes with the stylistic innovation of including relatively lengthy passages from de Beauvois's writings within paragraphs; rather than setting off the quotes in separate blocks of text as is the common style. This has the effect of drawing writer and subject closer, allowing the writer to be particularly revealing about her subject. A little different from a conventional biography, this work presents de Beauvoir as a feeling, thinking, activist individual while also being an introspective one; and it's a good supplement to other works on this leading French philosophical and literary figure of the post-War decades who continues to offer insights and guidance on social, gender, and political questions.