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Deirdre Bair at ArtPower

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Deirdre Bair at ArtPower


National Book Award–winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her 15 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 her new book, Parisian Lives.

In 1971 Bair was a journalist and recently minted PhD who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize–winning author Samuel Beckett. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography and propelled Bair to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.

At ArtPower, Bair will speak about Parisian Lives—including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish back in the 1990s and that give audiences a new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.



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