A very interesting view of how a biographer started her career in the seventies, with two heavy-weights, Beckett and de Beauvoir. Bair calls the book a bio-memoir, and it's indeed quite deserving of a name of its own for its genre. One learns of the struggle it was not only to be a biographer of famous writers still living (and her fascinating relationship with them) but also to be a successful woman in the seventies. And there are lots of interesting details about her writing process, and its all too human side. Very well written all around, it really whets your appetite: i've already ordered her Beckett bio!