In 1971, Deirdre Bair was a journalist who managed to secure access to the elusive Samuel Beckett. Thus began seven years of intimate conversations, culminating in her National Book Award-winning biography of the Waiting for Godot author. Bair's next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other—and lived on the same street. Bair's decade-long relationship with the domineering de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile. In this Pulitzer Prize finalist, Bair goes behind the scenes to offer her final portrait of these two legends and a thoughtful reflection on the art of biography.