Beauvoir, Simone de: Further Reading

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Bennett, Joy Gabriella Hochmann. Simone de Beauvoir: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1988, 474 p.

Comprehensive annotated bibliography of secondary sources published between 1940 and 1986 in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.


Appignanesi, Lisa. Simone de Beauvoir New York: Penguin Books, 1988, 169 p.

Traces Beauvoir's life and development as a writer.

Ascher, Carol. Simone de Beauvoir: A Life of Freedom. Boston, Mass.: Beacon, 1981, 254 p.

Biographical and critical study of Beauvoir's life and works, intended as "a mixture of the personal and the analytical."

Bair, Deirdre. Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography New York: Summit Books, 1990, 718 p.

Authorized biography.

Fullbrook, Kate and Edward Fullbrook. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre: The Remaking of a Twentieth-Century Legend. Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire: Harvester-Wheatsheaf, 1993, 214 p.

Biographical account focusing on Beauvoir's experiences with Sartre.

Okely, Judith. Simone de Beauvoir. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986, 176 p.

Biography of Beauvoir.


Arp, Kristana. The Bonds of Freedom: Simone de Beauvoir's Existential Ethics. Peru, Ill.: Carus Publishing, 2001, 256 p.

Explores Beauvoir's existential philosophy before the publication of The Second Sex.

Ascher, Carol. "Simone de Beauvoir—Mother of Us All." Social Text 6, no. 2 (fall 1987): 107-09.

Brief discussion of Beauvoir's lasting impact on feminism.

——. "Women and Choice—A New Look at Simone de Beauvoir and The Second Sex." Faith of a (Woman) Writer, edited by Alice Kessler-Harris and William McBrien, pp. 173-78. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Examines Beauvoir's views concerning freedom, morality, and oppression as delineated in The Second Sex and The Ethics of Ambiguity.

Bauer, Nancy. Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy, and Feminism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001, 288 p.

Argues for a return to the principles promoted in The Second Sex for a thorough understanding of contemporary feminism.

Bieber, Konrad. Simone de Beauvoir. Boston, Mass.: Twayne Publishers, 1979, 198 p.

Monograph focusing on the originality of Beauvoir's writings.

Butler, Judith. "Sex and Gender in Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex. "In Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical Reader, edited by Elizabeth Fallaize, pp. 30-42. London, Eng., and New York, NY: Routledge, 1998.

An essay originally published in 1986 examining Beauvoir's distinction between sex and gender in The Second Sex.

Cottrell, Robert D. Simone de Beauvoir. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1975, 168 p.

Overview of Beauvoir's life and works.

Davis, Mary G. "Introduction: Debating Simone de Beauvoir." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 18, no. 1 (autumn 1992): 74-88.

Provides an overview of contemporary feminist response to The Second Sex and the significance of Beauvoir's theories for feminist scholars.

Francis, Claude Fernande Gontier. Simone de Beauvoir: A Life … A Love Story, translated by Lisa Nesselson. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987, 412 p.

Incorporates information gleaned from Beauvoir's unpublished letters and numerous interviews with the author.

Fishwick, Sarah. The Body in the Work of Simone de Beauvoir. New York: Peter Lang, 2002, 284 p.

Examines Beauvoir's ambivalence about the human body in her work.

Hatcher, Donald L. Understanding The Second Sex. New York: Peter Lang, 1984, 281 p.

Introduction to the study of The Second Sex.

Hughes, Alex. "Murdering the Mother: Simone de Beauvoir's Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée." French Studies 48, no. 2 (April 1994): 174-83.

Provides a psychoanalytic reading of Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée focusing on Beauvoir's relationship with her mother, Zaza, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Keefe, Terry. Simone de Beauvoir: A Study of Her Writings. London, Eng.: Harrap, 1983, 247 p.

Overview of Beauvoir's writings.

Kuykendall, Eléanor H. "Simone de Beauvoir and Two Kinds of Ambivalence in Action." The Thinking Muse: Feminism and Modern French Philosophy, edited by Jeffner Allen and Iris Marion Young, pp. 35-50. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.

Offers linguistic analysis of Beauvoir's existentialist ethics and feminist vocabulary in The Second Sex.

McCall, Dorothy Kaufmann. "Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, and Jean-Paul Sartre." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 5, no. 2 (winter 1979): 209-23.

Offers reevaluation of Beauvoir's feminist perspective through examination of her complex relationship with Sartre and the influence of Sartre's existentialism in The Second Sex.

Moi, Toril. "Ambiguity and Alienation in The Second Sex." Boundary 2 19, no. 2 (summer 1992): 96-112.

Discusses Beauvoir's philosophical analysis of female oppression in The Second Sex.

——. "Beauvoir's Utopia: The Politics of The Second Sex." South Atlantic Quarterly 92, no. 2 (spring 1993): 311-60.

Provides an overview of Beauvoir's feminist perspective and philosophical ideals in The Second Sex.

Pilardi, Jo-Ann. "The Changing Critical Fortunes of The Second Sex." History and Theory 32, no. 1 (1993): 51-73.

Examines the critical reception and publishing history of The Second Sex and the lasting significance of Beauvoir's ideas for feminist scholarship.

Powrie, Phil. "Rereading Between the Lines: A Postscript on La Femme rompue." Modern Language Review 87, no. 2 (April 1992): 320-29.

Discusses Beauvoir's presentation of unstable female characters in Le Femme rompue as a reflection of the difficulty women authors encounter when creating their own fictions within male literary tradition.

Sargeant, Winthrop. "Growing Pains." New Yorker 35, no. 32 (26 September 1959): 186, 189-90.

Review of Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, finding it curiously lacking in psychological depth and awareness.

Simons, Margaret A. "Simone de Beauvoir: An Interview." Feminist Studies 5, no. 2 (summer 1979): 330-45.

Beauvoir discusses her role in the feminist movement and the influence of psychoanalytic theory and literature on her own writings and ideas about women.

——. "Sexism and the Philosophical Canon: On Reading Beauvoir's The Second Sex." Journal of the History of Ideas 51, no. 3 (July-September 1990): 487-504.

Discusses Beauvoir's important contributions to existentialism and her problematic status as a woman philosopher in the male-dominated canon of Western philosophical literature.

——. "Lesbian Connections: Simone de Beauvoir and Feminism." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 18, no. 1 (autumn 1992): 136-61.

Examines Beauvoir's romantic attachments to women and the significance of her bisexuality for feminist interpretation of her gender identity and writing.

——. "The Second Sex: From Marxism to Radical Feminism." In her Feminist Interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir, pp. 243-62. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.

Simons maintains that The Second Sex is rooted in the principles of radical feminism, noting that Beauvoir used this work and others to draw connections between various forms of oppression.

Suleiman, Susan Rubin. "Simone de Beauvoir and the Writing Self." L'Esprit Créateur 29, no. 4 (winter 1989): 42-51.

Explores issues surrounding sexual identity and authorship in The Second Sex, Beauvoir's autobiographical writings, and fiction.

Ward, Julie K. "Beauvoir's Two Senses of 'Body' in The Second Sex." Feminist Interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Margaret A. Simons, pp. 223-42. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.

Examines Beauvoir's views concerning the nature of the female body and gender roles, and rejects the idea that Beauvoir's feminism is guided by principles of biological determinism.

Westbrook, Perry D. Review of The Woman Destroyed. Studies in Short Fiction 7, no. 2 (spring 1970): 337-39.

Provides discussion of the theme of female existential failure in The Woman Destroyed.


Additional coverage of Beauvoir's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: Biography & Resources, Vol. 1; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 9-12R, 118; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vols. 28, 61; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vols. 1, 2, 4, 8, 14, 31, 44, 50, 71, 124; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 72; Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, 1986; DISCovering Authors; DISCovering Authors: British Edition; DISCovering Authors: Canadian Edition; DISCovering Authors Modules: Most-studied and Novelists; DISCovering Authors 3.0; Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, Ed. 3; European Writers, Vol. 12; Feminist Writers; Guide to French Literature, 1789 to Present; Literary Movements for Students, Vol. 2; Literature Resource Center; Major 20th-Century Writers, Eds. 1, 2; Reference Guide to Short Fiction, Ed. 2; Reference Guide to World Literature, Eds. 2, 3; Short Story Criticism, Vol. 35; Twayne's World Authors; and World Literature Criticism.