“I could see no reason for being sad. It´s just that it makes me unhappy not to feel happy": First Edition in English of The Mandarins; Signed by Simone de Beauvoir

  • The Mandarins.

The Mandarins.


Item Number: 27098

Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company, 1956.

First American edition and first English edition of the novel for which de Beuvoir won the Prix Goncourt, awarded to the best and most imaginative prose work. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Simone de Beauvoir on the half-title page. Fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket with light rubbing and wear. Translated from the French by Leonard M. Friedman. Dust jacket design by Laszlo Matulay. A signed limited edition of The Mandarins was printed, in our experience trade editions signed by de Beuvoir are rare.

In her most famous novel, The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir takes an unflinching look at Parisian intellectual society at the end of World War II. Hailed by Iris Murdoch as "a remarkable book, a novel on the grand scale, courageous in its exactitude and endearing because of its persistent seriousness." In fictionally relating the stories of those around her ― Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Arthur Koestler, Nelson Algren ― de Beauvoir dissects the emotional and philosophical currents of her time. At once an engrossing drama and an intriguing political tale, The Mandarins is the emotional odyssey of a woman torn between her inner desires and her public life. "Much more than a roman a clef . . . a moving and engrossing novel" (New York Times). It was the recipient of the Prix Goncourt Award.

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