Simone Weil by Francine Du Plessix Gray
(Penguin Lives)

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Synopsis

Francine du Plessix Gray's biography of the Marquis de Sade, At Home with the Marquis de Sade, was hailed by The New York Times Book Review as a "boldly imaginative retelling" of his life and garnered the critically acclaimed author a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In Simone Weil, du Plessix Gray vividly evokes the life of an equally complex and intriguing figure. A patriot and a mystic, an unruly activist plagued by self-doubt, a pampered intellectual with a credo of manual labor, an ascetic who craved sensuous beauty, Simone Weil died at the age of thirty-four prematurely after a long struggle with anorexia. But her tremendous intellectual legacy foresaw many of the twentieth century's great changes and continues to influence philosophy today. Simone Weil traces this seminal thinker's transformation from privileged Parisian student to union organizer, activist, and philosopher as well as the complex evolution of her ideas on Christianity, politics, and sexuality. In this thoughtful and compelling biography, du Plessix Gray illuminates an enigmatic figure and early feminist whose passion and pathos will fascinate a wide audience of readers.
 

About Francine Du Plessix Gray

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Francine du Plessix Gray is a writer and political activist. She contributes regularly to the New Yorker and many other publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, the painter Cleve Gray.
 
Published January 1, 2001 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 208 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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She also spent a year working in various factories, where she attempted (with increasing disillusionment) to help the workers organize.

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Publishers Weekly

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Gray, who as novelist and biographer has illuminated the mystery of human suffering (most recently in At Home with the Marquis de Sade, 1998, a Pulitzer Prize fi

May 21 2001 | Read Full Review of Simone Weil (Penguin Lives)

The New York Times

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Upshaw describes Weil’s months spent bound to a machine: Weil took a leave from her teaching job to work incognito in two factories, the better to understand the plight of workers.

Aug 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Simone Weil (Penguin Lives)

The New York Times

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Francine du Plessix Gray's short biography of Simone Weil betrays its author's understandable exasperation with her subject's solipsistic martyrdom

Aug 05 2001 | Read Full Review of Simone Weil (Penguin Lives)

Publishers Weekly

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Gray, who as novelist and biographer has illuminated the mystery of human suffering (most recently in At Home with the Marquis de Sade, 1998, a Pulitzer Prize finalist), was the perfect pick to write a volume on Simone Weil (1909–1943) for the admirable Penguin Lives series of short, popular bio...

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