Currently Professor Emeritus of English at Princeton University, writer and
critic Elaine Showalter is one of the pioneers of feminist literary criticism.
Raised in the suburbs of Boston, she claims she "never met a feminist when I
was growing up, never even met a 'career girl.' "
This did not hinder her from initiating one of the first women's studies
programmes in the US, at Rutgers University.
In 1977 she broke new ground with A Literature of their Own: British Women
Novelists from Brontė to Lessing which questioned Virgina Woolf's status as
Showalter is also notorious for her examination of British psychiatry's
mistreatment of women in The Female Malady (1985) and Hystories (1998).
Her latest book Inventing Herself, is a collection of short biographies of
feminist icons from Mary Wollstonecraft to Princess Diana.
She divides her time
between Washington D.C. and London.