Deirdre Bair

Books Kristine Dahl, +1 212 556 5600 Email Kristine Dahl

Parisian Lives

book | Non-Fiction | Nov 2019
World English → Nan A. Talese (Ed. Daniel Meyer)

A Memoir of Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me

National Book Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her fifteen remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art.

In 1971, Deirdre Bair, was a journalist and recently minted Ph.D. who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written - or even read - a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, inter-continental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Deirdre to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other - and lived essentially on the same street. While quite literally dodging one subject or the other, and sometimes hiding out in the back rooms of the great cafés of Paris, Bair learned that what works in terms of process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.

Drawing on Bair's extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth, and give us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.


Daisy Meyrick manages the translation rights for Parisian Lives

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Liz Farrell.

Film Rights


Contact Kristine Dahl for more information

Kristine Dahl
+1 212 556 5600
Email Kristine Dahl
Translation Rights
Daisy Meyrick
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Daisy Meyrick