Skip to main content

Deirdre Bair


Deirdre Bair

Deirdre Bair received the National Book Award for SAMUEL BECKETT: A Biography, and her memoir, PARISIAN LIVES, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Carl Jung were finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Simone de Beauvoir biography was chosen by The New York Times as a Best Book of the Year. Her biographies of Anaïs Nin and Saul Steinberg were both New York Times Notable Books. Prior to PARISIAN LIVES, her most recent book was AL CAPONE: His Life, Legacy, and Legend.

Deirdre Bair

Books by Deirdre Bair

by Deirdre Bair - Memoir, Nonfiction

In 1971, Deirdre Bair was a journalist and recently minted Ph.D. who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written --- or even read --- a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in SAMUEL BECKETT: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Deirdre to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other --- and lived essentially on the same street. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile and influencing Bair’s own feminist beliefs.

by Deirdre Bair - Biography, History, Nonfiction, True Crime

At the height of Prohibition, Al Capone loomed large as Public Enemy Number One: his multimillion-dollar Chicago Outfit dominated organized crime, and law enforcement was powerless to stop him. But then came the fall: a legal noose tightened by the FBI, a conviction on tax evasion, a stint in Alcatraz. After his release, he returned to his family in Miami a much diminished man, living quietly until the ravages of his neurosyphilis took their final toll. Now, through rigorous research and exclusive access to Capone’s family, National Book Award–winning biographer Deirdre Bair cuts through the mythology, uncovering a complex character who was flawed and cruel but also capable of nobility.