A Jury of Her Peers: Celebrating American Women Writers

Article number: SHOWALTER AJOHP
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An unprecedented literary landmark: the first comprehensive history of American women writers from 1650 to the present.
In a narrative of immense scope and fascination, here are more than 250 female writers, including the famous—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Dorothy Parker, Flannery O’Connor, and Toni Morrison, among others—and the little known, from the early American bestselling novelist Catherine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell. Showalter integrates women’s contributions into our nation’s literary heritage with brilliance and flair, making the case for the unfairly overlooked and putting the overrated firmly in their place.

Vintage: 2010 | Paperback: 608 pages


About the Author

Elaine Showalter, a professor emerita at Princeton University, is the author of numerous books, including the groundbreaking A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing and The Vintage Book of American Women Writers. A frequent radio and TV commentator in the United Kingdom, she has chaired the Man Booker International prize jury and judged the National Book Awards and the Orange Prize. She divides her time between Washington, D.C., and London.


“Exhilarating, provocative, revelatory, magisterial . . . The celebrated get their due . . . and so do the forgotten.”  —Slate

“A work of astonishing vision, breadth, intelligence, and audacity. . . . Sure to be required reading for all who have an interest in American literary history.”  —Joyce Carol Oates

“[A] grand new work of literary history . . . A critical standout . . . [Showalter] opines with zest on the personalities and books of the writers here . . . I do relish her critical gusto and guts . . . [She] has inspired me.”  —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, National Public Radio
“Remarkable. . . . A Jury of Her Peers does an enormous service, houses a drop-dead reading list and gives the reader a fluid framework for the great (much of it still undiscovered) wealth of writing by women in this country.”   —The Los Angeles Times

“Impressively researched. . . . Generous, thought-provoking. . . . [Showalter is] less polarized and more nuanced than other feminist critics of her generation . . . She is a lively and incisive guide, the perfect Virgil for our quest.”   —The Washington Post
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