“I think that to watch others in their solitude grappling with what comes to them, making it into themselves, and giving it back to the world as something that was not there before is to see the very image of what each of us is. It is to experience the least common denominator of our inwardness” (xvi). These observations, drawn from the “apologia” with which Hazel Barnes begins her venture, encapsulate her vision of existentialism, as well as her views on the purposes of autobiography and literature more broadly. Her vision is, of course, indebted to the philosophy of Sartre, but is not identical to his. For Barnes gives Sartre’s existentialism back to the world with her own distinctive mark on it, as less agonistic and more concerned with human connectivity.