Author biography

Virginia Hamilton, author of “Liberation Literature” for Children

Children’s book writer Virginia Hamilton (March 12, 1936 – February 19, 2002) built an unparalleled legacy in American letters. She published forty-one books in the course of her writing career and was recognized with every major award in the children’s literature field.

The MacArthur Foundation described Virginia Hamilton “as a writer of children’s literature who wove Black folktales and narratives of African American life and experience into her work.” She was the first children’s book author to receive this award. Read More→

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Brigid Brophy, British Novelist, Essayist, & Activist

 Brigid Brophy (June 12, 1929 – August 7, 1995) was a British novelist, cultural commentator, and essayist. She was also a keen activist for animal rights and a leading campaigner for social issues including LGBT rights, prison reform, divorce reform, and equity for authors.

She was the prolific author of novels and nonfiction works, including essays and commentary, many of which espoused her social stances. Her activism has had a lasting impact, and her books are still being read and studied.

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The Life and Letters of Madame de Sévigné

Who was Madame de Sévigné (1626 – 1696) and why are we still reading her collected letters more than three hundred years later? She lived in complicated times— during the reign of Louis XIV — and she was a gifted chronicler. 

To this day, 1,372 of her letters survive, mostly written to her beloved daughter, Françoise-Marguerite de Sévigné.

Thanks to this correspondence, we have detailed insight into French history, politics, and culture, not to mention gossip — about the King’s love life, the Rennes tax revolt, or details of the corruption trial of finance minister Nicolas FouquetRead More→

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Nancy Mitford, author of Love in a Cold Climate

Nancy Mitford (November 28, 1904 – June 30, 1973) was a British novelist, journalist, and biographer. She was best known for her novels depicting upper-class life in England, often with satirical and provocative humor.

In addition to her two most successful novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, she also wrote several other works of fiction as well as historical biographies, magazine articles, and essays.

Nancy was the eldest of the six Mitford sisters, most of whom courted controversy in one way or another, and was considered one of the “Bright Young Things” on the London scene of the 1920s and 1930s.

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The Tenth Muse: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Juana Inés de Asbaje Ramírez de Santillana (November 1648 (?) – April 17, 1695), more familiarly known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a Mexican writer, poet, philosopher, composer, and Hieronymite nun.

Known as the “Tenth Muse” or as “The Phoenix of America” due to her formidable achievements in literature and scholarship, she is now revered as an early feminist.

Her writing is the subject of vibrant academic discourse on subjects as wide-ranging as women’s rights, environmentalism, colonialism, and education. Read More→

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