The Woman Destroyed (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Oh, Simone. Thank you for your honesty. No, every marriage does not end well. We do not all live "happily ever after." And somehow it feels better to know about pain and to read about it, than to pretend it doesn't exist. If you want to face your fears and stop living in a bubble of fairy tale magic, read "The Woman Destroyed." Your heart will thank you.

— Rachel

In these three novellas ("The Age of Discretion"; "The Monologue"; "The Woman Destroyed"), claustrophobic first person narratives underscore the thwarted/trapped/disfigured nature of these women's lives; staged in 1960's Paris, these books speak beyond time and geography. Beyond the individual circumstances of three variously unhappy/suffering/embittered women; beyond the obliterating interiority; beyond apportioning blame or citing delusion; rises the crushing ubiquity of a patriarchal, paternalistic world saturated with misogyny, inequity, injustice, sexism, racism, materialism, ad nauseam. To varying degrees, these women serve as symbols of the inevitable destruction predicated on women's inability to recognize the cultural bindings that hobble them: emotionally, intellectually, economically, sexually. Trapped behind the ugly fun-house mirrors of culturally-imposed narcissism; forged in the grotesque nursery of parental self-absorption and abuse (perfected by the self-hating "mother," reliable enforcer of every patriarchal whip and whim; herself "confined" as judge, jailer, and prisoner); these women are "woman" cast as the infinite Other, incapable of moving beyond immanence to achieve transcendence. Ravaged by domestic self-abnegation and male rejection of domestic parity; manacled by the hypocritical "bonds" of matrimony; enduring circumscribed, mutilated ambitions; discarded as objects of passion: de Beauvoir exposes, remorselessly, the raw, flayed flesh of Women, destroyed.

— Yvonne

It helped me better understand how it feels to be an old woman, and a young woman, and a couple, and a person.

— Landon

Product Details
ISBN: 9780007204656
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 1st, 2009