About Deirdre Bair

Deirdre Bair is the critically acclaimed author of five award winning biographies; Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, Anais Nin, C. G. Jung, and Saul Steinberg.  Her current project is a cultural study/biography of Al Capone (Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend) to be published in 2016 by Nan A. Talese at Random House/Doubleday.  She is also the author of the cultural study, Calling it Quits: Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over.

She received the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett, and Simone de Beauvoir and C. G. Jung were finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.   Her biographies of Beauvoir, Nin, and Steinberg were chosen by The New York Times as “Best Books of the Year,” and Jung won the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis as the best biography of the year.

For her various publications, she has appeared on CBS’s “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Today Show,” PBS’s “Fresh Air,” Charlie Rose, Brian Lehrer and various others.  Profiles of Bair and her books have been aired throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  In France, she has appeared on the popular book program first hosted by Bernard Pivot and then with his successors. Documentaries based on her work have appeared in England (Nin) and France (Beauvoir).

Deirdre Bair received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and was a tenured professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has been visiting professor, often holding the title of “Distinguished,” at Ohio State University, Bennington College, and at MacQuarie and Griffith Universities in Australia.  She has lectured and taught at various writer’s conferences in Europe, the Americas, and Australia and New Zealand.  She has been awarded fellowships from (among others) the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. She is a also literary journalist who writes and reviews frequently for magazines and newspapers about travel, feminist issues, and cultural life.

Deirdre serves on Pace University’s MS in Publishing Advisory Board and was the 2005 Eliot Shein Guest Lecturer. She is also an advisory board member of The Simone de Beauvoir Society and BIO (Biographers International) and is a member of the Authors Guild. In 1990, as a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities (at NYU), she co-founded the Women Writing Women’s Lives Seminar (http://www.writingwomenslives.org/), which moved to CUNY in 1995.  She recently gave the keynote address at the 25th anniversary celebration.

She currently divides her time between Connecticut and New York.

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