Simone de Beauvoir

1908 (Paris) – 1986 (Paris)

Sartre, Beauvoir’s ‘non-exclusive’ lover and lifetime intellectual companion, was a fellow-student, as were Merleau-Ponty and Lévi-Strauss; she had a lasting dialogue with both. Leiris engaged in left-wing causes with her, but Malraux and Gide failed to support an underground resistance movement she and Sartre helped to organise. She lived with Lanzmann for seven years, and had a seventeen-year relationship with Algren, basing a fictional character upon him. She wrote fondly of Giacometti, and joined in a reading of Picasso’s only play. Beckett lodged with her, but they squabbled over the publication of a story of his.