Biographer and memoirist

1935 - 2020

Deirdre Bair was the critically acclaimed author of five biographies and a cultural history of late-life divorce — Calling it Quits: Late Life Divorce and Starting Over. She received the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett and her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and C. G. Jung were finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her biographies of de Beauvoir and Anais Nin were chosen by The New York Times as “Best Books of the Year” and her biography of Jung won the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.

Deirdre Bair lectured and taught at various writers’ conferences and universities across the world and was awarded fellowships from (among others) the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College.

Her final book, Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir, was published in 2019 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Bair’s exhaustively detailed and lively memoir also serves as a solid study in the art of biography.

Publishers Weekly Starred Review
on Parisian Lives

A meticulously researched and thorough account of the man 

Publishers Weekly
on Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend

The most thorough record of Samuel Beckett’s life

on Beckett

As a reference work . . . Simone de Beauvoir can be considered definitive

The Atlantic
on Simone de Beauvoir