The French writer and philosopher Simone Weil (1906-1943) devoted her life to a search for God--while avoiding membership in organized religion. She had a startling intellect, the social conscience of a grass-roots labor organizer, and the certainty and humility of a mystic. And she persistently carried out her spiritual search in the company of the poor and oppressed. Robert Coles's intriguing study of Weil--who has been called both saint and madwoman--details her short, eventful life, showing why she had a profound spiritual influence on so many others, among them T. S. Eliot, Flannery O'Connor, Adrienne Rich, and Albert Camus. This most accessible introduction, now updated with a new foreword by the author, shows us why this extraordinary life continues to inspire seekers everywhere.