A Very Easy Death

Paperback (28 Jun 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Nowhere is de Beauvoir’s rigorous honesty more visible than in this haunting account of the death of her mother... As she charts her last weeks and her abasement at the hands of doctors and illness, both hostility and unexpected love play themselves out on the page.
Lisa Appignanesi, author of Everyday Madness

Long considered one of Simone de Beauvoir’s masterpieces, A Very Easy Death is a profoundly affecting, day-by-day recounting of her mother’s final days after she is hospitalized following a fall.

Though a devout Catholic, her faith is subsumed by her terror of death, and as her body fails, she clings to life with fierce, primal desperation. In depicting her mother’s refusal to ‘go gentle’ while her autonomy and dignity are taken from her,

Simone de Beauvoir ‘shows the power of compassion when it is allied with acute intelligence’ (Sunday Telegraph). Powerful, touching and sometimes shocking, this is an end-of-life account that no reader is likely to forget.

True and deeply moving.
Annie Ernaux, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature


The mother of 20th-century feminism.
Joanna Biggs, London Review of Books

In every decade of my life since my 20s, I have been awed, confused, intrigued and inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s attempt to live with meaning, pleasure and purpose.
Deborah Levy, author of Real Estate

It was Alice Walker, Hélène Cixous, Angela Davis, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, and Simone Weil and de Beauvoir who mattered most to me.
Zadie Smith, author of NW

Book information

ISBN: 9781804270448
Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Imprint: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Pub date:
DEWEY: 848.91409
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 9424
Number of pages: 128
Weight: 128g
Height: 121mm
Width: 197mm
Spine width: 11mm