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Marilyn French Biography

(1929– ), The Book as World: James Joyce's ‘Ulysses’

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Samuel Foote Biography to Furioso

American novelist and literary critic, born in New York City, educated at Harvard. French established herself as a teacher and literary critic before embarking on a career as a novelist. Her The Book as World: James Joyce's ‘Ulysses’ (1976) is a study of Joyce's great novel, while Shakespeare's Division of Experience (1984) explores what she sees as the division in Shakespeare's work between tragedy as the expression of the ‘masculine principle’ and comedy as the expression of the ‘feminine principle’. However, it was her first novel, The Women's Room (1977), which brought her to the attention of a wider reading public and helped establish her as an important academic voice for the feminist movement. Her frequently trenchant essays on the place of women in society are collected in Beyond Morals: Women, Men, and Morals (1986) and The War against Women (1992). Her other novels include The Bleeding Heart (1980), Her Mother's Daughter (1987), and Our Father (1993).

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