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Sex, Love, and LettersWriting Simone de Beauvoir$
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Judith G. Coffin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750540

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750540.001.0001

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Readers and Writers

Readers and Writers

(p.74) 3 Readers and Writers
Sex, Love, and Letters

Judith G. Coffin

Cornell University Press

This chapter elaborates how Simone de Beauvoir burst into the world of literary stardom in the 1950s. It begins with Mandarins from 1954, Beauvoir's novel about postwar French intellectuals' political, literary, and ethical debates, and their love lives, which won many readers and gained a blizzard of publicity. It also cites the novels, plays, and philosophical essays on justice, ethics, and morality that Beauvoir has written as an accomplished writer. The chapter talks about Beauvoir's publication of her reflections on her travels through the United States, America Day by Day, which was dedicated to Richard and Ellen Wright. It describes the outcome of Beauvoir's hard work as an epic of postwar existentialism and its attendant anguish, a readable and serious fare that fueled the mid-twentieth-century expansion of book publishing.

Keywords:   Simone de Beauvoir, literary stardom, Mandarins, America Day by Day, postwar existentialism, book publishing

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