The Woman Destroyed

The Woman Destroyed

Book - 2013
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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. Three long stories that draw the reader into the lives of three women, all past their first youth, all facing unexpected crises.
Publisher: New York :, Pantheon Books,, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©1969
ISBN: 9780394711034
Characteristics: 254 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: O'Brien, Pat 1899-1983,- Translator

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manoush Apr 22, 2015

The title story in this collection is a disturbing, extremely precise rendition of a middle-aged woman come undone after her husband of 22 years announces that he's having an affair. Written in the form of the woman's diary, de Beauvoir traces the woman's gradual loss of her very sense of self, her hold on reality and what she thought were certainties about herself and others. It's both completely gripping and completely frightening to read what it would feel like to be decentered so radically, an effect de Beauvoir masterfully creates with her writing. The deeper issue she raises is: what would it feel like to lose all certainty, to doubt everything heretofore taken for granted? And to have no neat resolution to this profound existential crisis?

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