Emory Report

November 1, 1999

 Volume 52, No. 10

Heilbrun to give two lectures on women and fiction

Distinguished author and critic Carolyn Heilbrun--aka detective novelist Amanda Cross--will give two public lectures on campus in early November.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Heilbrun will don her detective writer's hat as the speaker for the Women's Center's "Women Writers of Genre Fiction" event at 7:45 p.m. in Cox Hall Ballroom. On Thursday, Nov. 10, she will don her professorial mortarboard for the Women's Studies Colloquium Series when she speaks on "Feminism in the Academy: A Few Words from the Oracle" at 4 p.m. in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library.

Heilbrun published her first detective novel, In the Last Analysis, in 1964. Since then, her protagonist, Kate Fansler, a New York English professor / detective, has been called upon to solve murders, suicides and kidnappings in 11 more novels that take place in academic settings.

"Cross entertains her audience with the kind of highly literate, witty writing and outspoken politics that have been hallmarks of Kate Fansler mysteries for the past 30 years," says Amazon.com.

During the Women Writers of Genre Fiction event, Heilbrun will answer questions posed by Gretchen Schulz, associate professor of English at Oxford and chair of the Women's Center advisory board.

Questions may be sent beforehand to <gschulz@ learnlink.emory.edu>. Heilbrun also plans to read some of her detective fiction, and a reception and book signing will follow. The event is cosponsored by the college, the Emory Women's Council, the Institute of Women's Studies and the creative writing program.

In the academic side of her life, Heilbrun was named the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emerita at Columbia University in 1993 after 33 years of teaching there. She is widely credited as one of the founders of academic feminism and is "perhaps best known in academe for Writing a Woman's Life (1988) which traced the narrow 'marriage quest' narrative imposed on the lives of women, real and fictional," according to Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association.

"With fascinating insights into the lives of unconventional women such as Virginia Woolf, Colette, George Sand, George Eliot, Dorothy Sayers, Adrienne Rich and many more, Carolyn Heilbrun examines how their stories have been distorted by assumptions about women; and charts the development of writing about women's lives," said The Women's Press of Writing a Woman's Life.

Heilbrun also served as president of the Modern Languages Association. She will speak about her experiences in the academy at the Women's Studies colloqium.

Heilbrun's latest book, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty, was published in 1998. The New York Times said, "Despite the subtitle, Carolyn G. Heilbrun's reflections on The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty is not a self-help or inspiration book, although it may be inspiring, and it is, in the broader sense, helpful. It is more like a letter to a friend, the kind you don't lie to."

-Jan Gleason

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