Posted on August 10, 2020 at 4:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Every bookworm has, at some point, felt like a particular book or its author was a personal friend.

Fans of Simone de Beauvoir especially felt that way, though.

A collection of 20,000 letters, the basis of a book coming out this fall, shows just how much her unconventional life and progressive views resonated with readers.

Sex, Love, and Letters: Writing Simone de Beauvoir by Judith Coffin, associate professor of history at the University of Texas, will come out this fall.

In the meantime, the Guardian has excerpts of some of these heartfelt, personal missives sent to de Beauvoir from a variety of readers, from closeted lesbian to a domestic violence victim and several different men, for you to browse.

Beauvoir became a household name for The Second Sex, a treatise on feminism, but also wrote fiction (including prize-winning The Mandarins), philosophical works, and autobiographical accounts (like Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter).

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