Archive for May, 2012

New translation of “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir.

May 31, 2012 - 7:08 pm No Comments

The new translation of The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.

Translators: Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier.

Simone de Beauvoir published her wonderful book, The Second Sex, in 1949. It was translated into English some four years later, by H.M. Parshley, but his American publisher, Alfred Knopf, insisted that as much as 20% of the original text be deleted from it.

As a very young woman I struggled with this translation in the 1970s, unaware that so much of the original text was missing. So it was with much excitement late last year that I learned there was a much better translation than this first one, now available through the London publisher, Vintage Books.

Meeting the translators at the University of Queensland in November 2011, was a treat, too. They were charming and funny and wise; two Americans living in Paris who took three years to restore de Beauvoir’s  masterpiece to what she had originally said, but in English. (more…)

A Dissection of Murder” by Felicity Young

May 31, 2012 - 3:03 pm No Comments

A Dissection of Murder by Felicity Young

Publisher: HarperCollins

Felicity Young has written a gorgeous historical crime fiction in A Dissection of Murder, foregrounding the real Suffragette march for the Women’s Vote in November 1910, where the London police behaved so brutally towards the marchers, that three women were killed and many more seriously injured. It has been suggested, though not proven, that Winston Churchill gave the order to the police to behave in the appalling way they did. They not only killed and maimed, but also sexually assaulted many of the women.

That Churchill hated the Suffragettes is a strong possibility. History records that just the year before, on November 14, 1909,  the Suffragette, Therese Gurnett, smote Churchill around the head (which was mostly protected by his hat) with a dog whip, as he alighted from a train in Bristol. Gurnett was arrested and gaoled. Her whip was apparently given to Mrs Churchill as a souvenir. (more…)