Kate Millett (Kate Katherine Murray Millett) Biography
(1934– ), (Kate Katherine Murray Millett), Sexual Politics, Three Women, The Prostitution Papers, Flying, Sita
American feminist cultural analyist and novelist, born in St Paul, Minnesota, educated at the University of Minnesota and St Hilda's College, Oxford. She has lectured in literature and philosophy, is an accomplished sculptor and now divides her time between New York and her Poughkeepsie farm in upper New York State. Sexual Politics (1970), her rigorous literary and cultural study of patriarchial bias, became an immediate bestseller and is one of the most important and pioneering books about the relationship between the sexes. Closely examining the work of Jean Genet, D. H. Lawrence, Norman Mailer, and Henry Miller, together with history, sexual theory, and psychoanalysis—Freud and beyond—it is a feminist classic. Millett's concern with the political importance of autobiography is reflected in her documentary film Three Women (1970) and in The Prostitution Papers (1978), which give voice to her subjects' own words; in her candid autobiographical novels, Flying (1974) and Sita (1977); and in The Loony Bin Trip (1991). The latter is a courageous account of her struggle with the stigma of mental illness which followed her international success in the 1970s also analyses the criminalization of psychosis, arguing against the definition and institutionalization of madness. Millett has also published The Basement: Meditations on a Human Sacrifice (1979), Elegy for Sita (1979), Going to Iran (1982), and The Politics of Cruelty: An Essay on the Literature of Imprisonment (1994). See also feminist criticism.