Elaine Showalter ’62 Wins 2012 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism for A Jury of Her Peers

Posted June 12th, 2012 at 12:01 pm.

book cover: A Jury of her PeersElaine Showalter ’62 has won the 2012 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism for her book A Jury of Her Peers.

The $30,000 award—the largest annual cash prize in English-language literary criticism—is administered for the Truman Capote Estate by the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

“I’m deeply honored by this award,” says Showalter in a post by the University of Iowa announcing the award, “and proud to be included among the distinguished list of former winners. I think that Truman Capote, as the longtime friend of Harper Lee, would be happy to see the prize go to the first literary history of American women writers.”

In A Jury of Her Peers Showalter writes about more than 250 women 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 best-selling novelist Catherine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell.

Showalter is a professor emerita of English at Princeton University, where she was The Avalon Foundation Professor of the Humanities. She is considered one of the founders of feminist literary criticism and has written and edited numerous books and articles on a variety of subjects, from Victorian literature to the history of psychiatry.

Showalter will accept her award this fall at a public event at the University of Iowa.

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