NYS Writers Institute, March 26, 2009
Elaine Showalter is the author most recently of “A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx” (2009). Hailed as a landmark in its field, the book represents the first comprehensive history of American women writers from the 17th to 21st centuries.
In a starred review, “Publishers Weekly” said the book contributes “to feminist theory without itself reading like theory. Diverse beyond easy description…. Showalter’s Baedeker showcases the rise and fall of styles and genres…. Several hundred authors… sing out in a monumental choral orchestrated by Showalter.” In advance praise, Joyce Carol Oates called it, “a work of astonishing vision, breadth, intelligence, and audacity…. one that is sure to be required reading for all who have an interest in American literary history.”
Showalter’s earlier works include “Faculty Towers: The Academic Novel and Its Discontents” (2005), “Inventing Herself: Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage” (2001); “Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture” (1997); Sister’s Choice: Tradition and Change in American Women’s Writing” (1991); “Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin-de-Siècle” (1990), “The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture, 1830-1980” (1985); “Toward a Feminist Poetics” (1979); and the groundbreaking, “A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing” (1977), widely regarded as one of the “foundation texts” of feminist literary criticism.
In 2007, Showalter served as chair of the judges of the Man Booker Prize, the most prestigious literary award of the British Commonwealth. The prize was bestowed that year on “The Gathering” by Anne Enright, an Irish novelist who visited the New York State Writers Institute on October 2, 2008.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.