The Inseparables

The Inseparables

The newly discovered novel from Simone de Beauvoir

Summary

The lost novel from the author of The Second Sex

When Andrée joins her school, Sylvie is immediately fascinated. Andrée is small for her age, but walks with the confidence of an adult. The girls become close. They talk for hours about equality, justice, war and religion; they lose respect for their teachers; they build a world of their own. But as the girls grow into young women, the pressures of society mount, threatening everything.

This novel was never published in Simone de Beauvoir's lifetime. It tells the story of the real-life friendship that shaped one of the most important thinkers and feminists of the twentieth century.

TRANSLATED BY LAUREN ELKIN - INTRODUCED BY DEBORAH LEVY

'Slim, elegant, achingly tragic and unaffectedly lovely in its evocation of the closeness between girls - and the pressures that sunder them' Spectator

'There were lines that absolutely punched me in the gut' Anbara Salam

'Gorgeously written, intelligent, passionate' Oprah Daily

'Elegantly translated...a rich and rewarding novella' Literary Review

Reviews

  • This 'lost' novel by a giant of 20th-century letters reads surprisingly like a French Elena Ferrante... Lauren Elkin's translation is undistractingly smooth
    Daily Telegraph

About the author

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908. In 1929 she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agrégation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught at the lycées at Marseille and Rouen from 1931-1937, and in Paris from 1938-1943. After the war, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Mordernes. The author of several books including The Mandarins (1957) which was awarded the Prix Goncourt, de Beauvoir was one of the most influential thinkers of her generation. She died in 1986.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more