'One is not born, but rather becomes, woman'. First published in Paris in 1949, The Second Sex by Simone de Beavoir was a groundbreaking, risque book that became a runaway success. Selling 20,000 copies in its first week, the book earned its author both notoriety and admiration. Since then, The Second Sex has been translated into forty languages and has become a landmark in the history of feminism. Required reading for anyone who believes in the equality of the sexes, the central messages of The Second Sex are as important today as they were for the housewives of the forties.
A masterpiece Vogue Discovering The Second Sex was like an explosion in my skull, shattering illusions bred in a conventional fifties childhood...Re-reading the book now I realise how much of it is still entirely relevant, and that (despite advances) women are as much in need of liberation as ever -- Bel Mooney De Beauvoir was not just a genius as a theorist. She dared to live it. Challenging conventional marriage and sexual practice, she used her own experience to explore the emotional costs of jealousy, attachment, monogamy, bohemianism, sexuality, of love -- Susie Orbach A fine piece of work, a lucid translation Independent A fresh, much expanded, more intelligible book which repays re-reading by adherents of the old version, and cries out for attention from young women who have not been exposed to this most powerful of feminist thinkers Irish Times