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The Woman Destroyed

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The pains of growing older, the onset of loneliness, the creeping indifference of a loved one and the decay of passion: in The Woman Destroyed, Simone de Beauvoir undertakes a compelling journey into the sources of our vulnerability through three tales of women trapped by circumstance and trying to rebuild their lives. In the collection's title story Monique attempts to piece together the remnants of her former life after her husband confesses to an affair with a younger woman. In "The Monologue" a rich and spoilt woman is consumed with bitterness and loneliness after her son and husband have left home. In "The Age of Discretion" a scholar faces the harsh rejection of her latest academic work and the waning love of a son more interested in his young wife and her worldly values.

Full of wit and compassion, de Beauvoir's analysis is unsurpassable: enthralling as fiction, essential as an insight into the complexities of women's lives.