About the Author
(1909–1943) was one of the first female graduates of the École Normale Supérieure. A Socialist, she volunteered to fight against the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. In 1938, a mystical vision led her to convert to Roman Catholicism, though she refused the sacrament of baptism. She fled to the United States in 1942, where, in solidarity with the people of occupied France, she drastically limited her intake of food, so hastening her early death from tuberculosis. War and the Iliad
by Weil and Rachel Despaloff, and translated by Mary McCarthy, is published by NYRB Classics.
Simon Leys’s (1935–2014) writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, Le Monde, Le Figaro Littéraire, and other periodicals. Among his books are Chinese Shadows, The Death of Napoleon (forthcoming from NYRB Classics), Other People’s Thoughts, and The Wreck of the Batavia & Prosper. In 2013, New York Review Books Classics published The Hall of Uselessness, a volume of his collected essays.
Czeslaw Milosz (1911–2004) was born in Lithuania. Among his published books are works of criticism (The Captive Mind), fiction (The Issa Valley), memoir (Native Realm), and many volumes of poetry. In 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.