Born this day in 1929: Marilyn French (1929–2009), feminist and author of The Women’s Room.
Marilyn French burst onto the literary scene and the feminist scene in 1977 with the publication of her first novel, The Women’s Room. The novel became a best seller, selling more than 20 million copies in the U.S. and Europe (and translated into 20 languages). It articulated women’s sense of frustration in their marriages and demonstrated the obstacles they face when trying to achieve independence and fulfillment within a patriarchal society.
French went on to produce many more books, both fiction and non-fiction. In fact, she identified as a scholar first, fiction-writer second. She is the author of such gender studies as Shakespeare’s Division of Experience (1981), Beyond Power: Women, Men & Morals (1985), The War Against Women (1992), and the three-volume From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women (2002).