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.
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