The twenty-one-million copy bestselling novel and provocative feminist classic that changed the world when it was first published in 1977 "With The Women's Room, Marilyn French joined Simone de Beauvoir, Ralph Ellison, and that very small group of writers whose words spark a movement." -Gloria Steinem In the 1950s, many American women left education and professional advancement behind in order to marry, only to find themselves adrift and unable to support themselves after divorcing their husbands twenty years later. Some became destitute; a few went insane. But many went back to school in the heyday of the Women's Liberation movement, and were swept up in the promise of equality for both sexes. The Women's Room tells the story of one such woman: a suburban 1950s housewife named Mira who divorces her loathsome husband and returns to graduate school at Harvard. Loosely based on Marilyn French's own life, the story of Mira and her friends offers wry, piercing insight into the inner lives of a generation of American women. A powerful indictment of the patriarchal social norms of the time, it caused an uproar when it was first published in 1977, changing the course of the feminist movement forever. Today, it remains timely and eerily relevant-a courageous novel infused with revolutionary fervor that examines the world of hopeful believers looking for new truths.
Marilyn French (1929-2009) received her doctorate from Harvard University in 1972. She was a literary critic, and her articles and stories appeared in a wide range of journals and anthologies. She taught at Hofstra, Harvard, and the College of the Holy Cr