This week we’ve been featuring Nancy K. Miller’s My Brilliant Friends: Our Lives in Feminism in honor of Women’s History Month. If you haven’t been following us, set the FOMO aside. We’ve got your back with today’s roundup post of this week’s post and previous media coverage related to Miller and her book!
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Over the course of her esteemed career, Distinguished Professor Nancy K. Miller (The Graduate Center, CUNY) has authored more than a dozen books, taught French, comparative literature, and autobiographical criticism, and co-founded the Gender and Culture series at Columbia University Press, to name just a few things on her resume.
Over seven years near the beginning of the 21st century, Distinguished Professor Nancy K. Miller (English, Comparative Literature, and French) lost three dear friends. She’d met and fashioned friendships with the scholars Carolyn Heilbrun, Naomi Schor, and Diane Middlebrook at varying points in her academic career. T
In My Brilliant Friends, Nancy writes about her complicated, life-affirming, sustaining, sometimes painful friendships with Carolyn Heilbrun, Naomi Schor, and Diane Middlebrook. The relationships span from the 1970s to the 21st century, and as such, coexisted with considerable cultural and societal changes for women.
In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf famously called for new fiction by women in which two female friends—she called them Chloe and Olivia—would care for each other and work together. What might be the shape of a story, she wondered, whose premise was simply “Chloe liked Olivia”?
In this prelude, titled, “The Art of Losing,” Miller discusses the loss of three life-changing friendships and their inspiration for this work. My Brilliant Friends is an innovative group biography of three friendships forged in second-wave feminism. Poignant and politically charged, the book is a captivating personal account of the complexities of women’s bonds.
Read the first section of Carolyn from Nancy K. Miller’s My Brilliant Friends: Our Lives in Feminism. In this excerpt, Miller introduces us to her relationship with Carolyn Heilbrun (1926-2003). Heilbrun was a feminist and the first woman to receive tenure in the English department at Columbia University. In 1983 Heilbrun and Miller co-founded and became the co-editor of our Gender and Culture series.