On vacation from her job in Paris as National Archives conservator, French Resistant, novelist, poet, short story writer, journalist, and women’s historian Edith Thomas was working on a seventh novel in the family’s summer home in Sainte-Aulde when she stopped to wonder what the point of writing was for an ex-communist. Twenty years earlier, when Thomas was first introduced to communism, she found in it nothing less than “a new explanation of the world”; now, three years after leaving the Party, she had lost her life’s compass. The trained historian hoped to catch a glimpse of her future by looking back through her communist past, a twenty-year “adventure” which was, “like it or not, the adventure of our times” (Le témoin 44–45). Titling the manuscript Le témoin compromis (The Compromised Witness, 223published posthumously in 1995), Thomas described her need “to explain and justify myself, in your eyes and mine, so you will know who I am and love me in spite of everything, because I need to be loved for who I am” (30). Her appeal to former Party comrades likely imagined in this unnamed “you” had all the effectiveness of a ghost appealing to the wind; but Thomas harbored no illusions regarding the social death she would know the moment she quit the Party in 1949. And contrary to most, Thomas did so openly, in a letter published in the leftist newspaper Combat (December 15, 1949).