First published in 1967, this book consists of three short novellas on the theme of women's vulnerability - in the first, to the process of ageing, in the second to loneliness, and, in the third, to the growing indifference of a loved one. THE WOMAN DESTROYED is a collection of three stories, each an exquisite and passionate study of a woman trapped by circumstances, trying to rebuild her life. In the first story, 'The Age of Discretion', a successful scholar fast approaching middle age faces a double shock - her son's abandonment of the career she has chosen for him and the harsh critical rejection of her latest academic work. 'The Monologue' is an extraordinary New Year's Eve outpouring of invective from a woman consumed with bitterness and loneliness after her son and her husband have left home. Finally, in 'The Woman Destroyed', Simone de Beauvoir tells the story of Monique, trying desperately to resurrect her life after her husband confesses to an affair with a younger woman. Compassionate, lucid, full of wit and knowing, Simone de Beauvoir's rare insight into the inequalities and complexities of women's lives is unsurpassable.
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These three long stories draw us into the lives of three women, all past their first youth, all facing unexpected crises. In the title story, the heroine's serenity is shattered when she learns that her husband is having an affair. In "The Age of Discretion," a successful, happily married professor finds herself increasingly distressed by her son's absorption in his young wife and her worldly values. In "The Monologue," a rich, spoiled woman, home alone on New Year's Eve, pours out a lifetime's rage and frustration in a harrowing diatribe. Enthralling as fiction, suffused with de Beauvoir's remarkable insights into women, The Woman Destroyed gives us a legendary writer at her best.From the Back Cover:
"Witty, immensely adroit....These three women are believable individuals presented with a wry mixture of sympathy and exasperation."
-- The Atlantic
"A remarkable feat of empathy."
-- Times Literary Supplement
"Brilliant craftsmanship." -- Harper's
Cover photograph by Christine Rodin Cover design by Louise Fili
Pantheon Books, New York
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Book Description HarperCollins Distribution Services, 1969. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002219336