The titles of two of her best-known books, Reinventing Womanhood and Writing a Woman's Life, articulate the issues that have increasingly come to engage scholar and mystery writer Carolyn G. Heilbrun over the course of her nearly four-decade career: how important it is for women to script their own lives and how useful the study of women in literature can be in attaining this goal. In this first book-length study of Heilbrun's life and work, author Julia B. Boken analyzes the myriad ways Heilbrun has devoted herself to the advancement of women - in life and in writing. One of the less likely expressions of this devotion - that is, for a distinguished professor (since 1992 emerita) of literature at Columbia University - is Heilbrun's series of detective novels. In the eleven of these books that have appeared to date, Heilbrun, under the pseudonym Amanda Cross, draws from her academic background to create her own woman in literature: college professor/amateur detective Kate Fansler. Boken nimbly and compellingly demonstrates how in the course of solving all kinds of mysteries - literary as well as criminal - this acutely intelligent and fiercely independent sleuth elucidates, even as she enacts, the social, cultural, and feminist concerns central to Heilbrun. While Heilbrun's detective stories evidence the influence of her favorite mystery writer, Dorothy Sayers, Heilbrun's formidable collection of scholarly writings represents not only her early interest in feminism and feminist literary criticism but the enormous breadth and depth of her study of philosophy and English literature. In works such as Toward a Recognition of Androgeny (1973) and Hamlet's Mother and Other Women (1990), Heilbrun scrutinizes the foundations of Western representations of gender, recasting figures as diverse as Shakespeare's Gertrude, Freud's Oedipus, and Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway to win space for the writing of women. And early works such as The Garnett Family (a 1961 study of a family of librarians, editors, and writers whose influence on English letters is renowned) and Christopher Isherwood (a 1971 study of the English author most celebrated for his stories of Hitler's Berlin) further attest to Heilbrun's erudition and mark her abiding fascination with the transformative potential of biography.
Drawing on interviews with Heilbrun's friends, colleagues, and Heilbrun herself, an intellectual biography of the feminist academic and author of detective novels--under the name, Amanda Cross--places her in the context of the ongoing women's movement. UP.
From the author of Writing a Woman's Life comes an inspirational reflection on aging and the gift of life in your 70s and beyond. When she was young, distinguished author and critic Carolyn Heilbrun solemnly vowed to end her life when she turned seventy. But on the advent of that fateful birthday, she realized that her golden years had been full of unforeseen pleasures. Now, the astute and ever-insightful Heilbrun muses on the emotional and intellectual insights that brought her "to choose each day for now, to live." There are reflections on her new house and her sturdy, comfortable marriage; sweet solitude and the pleasures of sex at an advanced age; the fascination with e-mail and the joy of discovering unexpected friends. Even the encroachments of loss, pain, and sadness that come with age cannot spoil Heilbrun's moveable feast. They are merely the price of bountiful living.
A republication of a classic feminist work on the influence of discrimination on the literary world evaluates the careers of such figures as Virginia Woolf, George Sand, and Dorothy Sayers to reveal how they broke away from traditional depictions of women's roles to more accurately capture the female experience. Reprint.
In the three decades since her revolutionary and seminal article "The Character of Hamlet's Mother," Carolyn Heilbrun has been a prophet in the field of women and literature, gender and culture. This collection of graceful and uncompromising essays charts her development as a feminist writer and critic, which has culminated in such groundbreaking works as REINVENTING WOMANHOOD and WRITING A WOMAN'S LIFE. Shakespeare's Gertrude was first among many literary figures illuminated by Heilbrun's feminist sensibility. Others include Homer's Penelope -- an archetypal single parent, weaving herself a new life for which she was given no script; Jo in LITTLE WOMEN, a model of autonomy for generations of female readers; Elizabeth Bennet, remarkable for the promise of friendship in her marriage with Darcy; and Harrriet Vane, outrageously unique on many counts. The consistency and clarity of Heilbrun's vision in matched only by its heterogeneity, as she discusses Margaret Mead and Freud's daughters, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, resistance to feminist studies in academia, mothers and daughters, fiction and myth, tomboys and surrogate sons, and the detective story, of which Heibrun herself (as Amanda Cross) is one of the ablest practitioners. HAMLET'S MOTHER AND OTHER WOMEN will spark recognition, again and again, in readers on their own quest for female redefinition. "[A] witty, learned collection of essays . . . filled with delicate, sometimes startling gems of perception . . . . Provocative." -- New York Newsday
From one of America's most respected critics comes an acclaimed biography of the controversial feminist. Here, Heilbrun illuminates the life and explores the many facets of Steinem's complex life, from her difficult childhood to the awakening that changed her into the most famous feminist in the world. Intimate and insightful, here is a biography that is as provocative as the woman who inspired it. Photos.
Taking its name from a Rudyard Kipling poem and littered with his verses throughout, A Trap for Fools is a novel about overcoming adversity, and one of Amanda Cross’s best mysteries. Campus security found the body of Canfield Adams early on Sunday morning, seven stories below the open window of his office. To the police there is one easy assumption, but anyone who knew Canfield knows he would never have jumped. University officials ask literature Professor and amateur sleuth Kate Fansler to investigate the death of their precious professor, and she find a myriad of people, both on and off campus, who could have pushed him. However, Kate suspects the university has an ulterior motive . . . . . . and she herself is not sure she wants to succeed, for the murderer may be someone she cares about, a student, a colleague, a friend? ‘If by some cruel oversight you haven’t discovered Amanda Cross, you have an uncommon pleasure in store for you’ New York Times Book Review Follow amateur sleuth Kate Fansler in this gripping murder mystery series, continuing with The Players Come Again.
The first collection to bring together contemporary and classic writings on queer BloomsburyThis anthology presents important early essays that laid the foundation for queer studies of the Bloomsbury Group together with new essays that build upon this foundation to provide ground-breaking work on Bloomsbury figures and cultural achievements. As a whole, Queer Bloomsbury stands alone as a wide-ranging and critical resource that traces the cultural, ideological, and aesthetic facets of Bloomsbury's development as a queer intellectual and aesthetic subculture. Key FeaturesFifteen wide-ranging readings that trace the cultural, ideological, and aesthetic facets of Bloomsbury's development as a queer subcultureIncludes Carolyn Heilbrun's influential essay on the sexual dissidence of the Bloomsbury Group with an introduction by scholar Brenda SilverMoves beyond LGBT studies of Bloomsbury to provide substantive information on the queer philosophical and ethical underpinnings of the Bloomsbury GroupRarely seen reproductions of Duncan Grant's work from the Charleston archives as well as Dora Carrington's work from archives and a private collection
My Brilliant Friends is a group biography of three women’s friendships forged in second-wave feminism. Poignant and politically charged, the book is a captivating personal account of the complexities of women’s bonds. Nancy K. Miller describes her friendships with three well-known scholars and literary critics: Carolyn Heilbrun, Diane Middlebrook, and Naomi Schor. Their relationships were simultaneously intimate and professional, emotional and intellectual, animated by the ferment of the women’s movement. Friendships like these sustained the generation of women whose entrance into male-dominated professions is still reshaping American society. The stories of their intertwined lives and books embody feminism’s belief in the political importance of personal experience. Reflecting on aging and loss, ambition and rivalry, competition and collaboration, Miller shows why and how friendship’s ties matter in the worlds of work and love. Inspired in part by the portraits of the intensely enmeshed lives in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friends provides a passionate and timely vision of friendship between women.
A leading feminist critic and novelist describes the influence of three important scholars, writers, and thinkers on her life and philosophy--Clifton Fadiman, Lionel Trilling, and Jacques Barzun--in an intriguing look at intellectual endeavors, the romance of ideas, and the hopelessness of female ambition in the years prior to the feminist movement.
Portrays the lives and relationships of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy from the 1860s and Anne Sullivan's childhood in an almshouse, through the decades of international fame, to Helen's death in 1968