Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Marilyn French (November, 1929 - May 2, 2009)

I loved The Women's Room, a novel by Marilyn French (1977). It was a brilliant book, exposing the underside of the 1950s picture-perfect family, showing the complete exclusion of women from most areas of society at that time, confined to their homes and their house-work and cooking. It provided a painful exploration of feminist theories as relating to motherhood, marriage, divorce, sexism, and work.

Marilyn French got her B.A. and Masters degree from Hofstra in Long Island, and got her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, after divorcing her husband. She taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, was a Mellon fellow in English at Harvard, was an artist in residence at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Study. She was the author of novels, nonfiction, essays and articles. Her book The Women's Room is considered one of the most influential novels of modern feminism. I highly recommend it.

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