Feminist novelist Marilyn French died this weekend, aged 79.
The New York Times’
Her first and best-known novel, The Women’s Room, released in 1977, traces a submissive housewife’s journey of self-discovery following her divorce in the 1950s, describing the lives of Mira Ward and her friends in graduate school at Harvard as they grow into independent women. The book was partly informed by her own experience of leaving an unhappy marriage and helping her daughter deal with the aftermath of being raped. Women all over the world seized on the book, which sold more than 20 million copies and was translated into 20 languages.
One of her most recent works was From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women, which she was working on for two decades along with a team of researchers.
I’ve got to admit I’ve not actually read any of French’s work, so I can’t really say much more about it myself, but Cath Elliot has posted a book review of The Women’s Room, from when she read the novel for the first time aged 15.