Tête-à-Tête, Copyright 2005, by Hazel Rowley.
I read this book back in 2007, and loved it. It’s the story of the life and romance between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, starting with their education at the Sorbonne in the late 1920’s in Paris. It takes you through their romance, strange dalliances with others, scandalous behavior, their love of Russia, how they lived out of hotels and cafes, and survived the depression and World War II. It puts an historical perspective on their writings, so that you can better understand why they chose certain topics, and what influenced their thinking. Reading the book helps you understand what it must have been like to live through WWII and to experience German occupation, the loss of freedom and of friends who fought and died in the war.
This book got me hooked on the history of Europe in the first half of the last century. I think I should have lived in Paris at that time.