Carolyn G. Heilbrun is renowned as a provocative feminist critic of the culture and (as Amanda Cross) a writer of witty detective novels. In Carolyn G. Heilbrun: Feminist in a Tenured Position, Susan Kress provides a compelling intellectual biography, tracing the evolution of Heilbrun's thought and career in the context of the major debates and transformations of the contemporary women's movement. Kress tells the story of a woman determined to expand the boundaries of female selfhood, weighs the risks of the life Heilbrun staked out for herself, and evaluates her pioneering contributions to the ongoing feminist conversation.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Carolyn Heilbrun, her colleagues, and her friends, Kress illuminates her subject's various public identities: as Columbia student and professor struggling against the influence of Lionel Trilling, as author of such widely read books as Writing a Woman's Life and Death in a Tenured Position, as president of the Modern Language Association, as biographer of Gloria Steinem, and as one of the most controversial and influential of late-twentieth-century feminists.
The new epilogue, written especially for this paperback edition, focuses on the last phase of Carolyn Heilbrun's intellectual journey. Uncovering clues buried in Heilbrun's work, Kress offers startling insights into Heilbrun's suicide, revealing an even more complex, more poignant portrait of Carolyn Heilbrun.