Four and a half years older than me. After seeing this notice the other day (forwarded to the list of the ISU Eng. Dept.), I went out and bought several of the Amanda Cross books. Quite good. She also wrote _When Men Were the Only Models We Had: My Teachers Barzun, Fadiman, Trilling_ (2001). It too looks interesting. I have never read any of her professional publications. I gather from the brief notices at the Barnes&Noble web page that Trilling went beyond sexism to something like misogyny. Carrol Carolyn Heilbrun, Pioneering Feminist Scholar, Dies at 77 By ROBERT D. McFADDEN Published: October 11, 2003 Carolyn G. Heilbrun, a retired Columbia University literary scholar whose extensive writings included pioneering books and essays in the feminist canon and a dozen highly erudite detective novels under the pseudonym Amanda Cross, died at her home in Manhattan on Thursday. She was 77. Professor Heilbrun, who had written of taking her own life in a 1997 book, "The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty," committed suicide, said her son, Robert. She had not been ill, he noted yesterday. "She wanted to control her destiny," he said, "and she felt her life was a journey that had concluded." Aside from serving as an instructor at Brooklyn College in 1959-60 and as a visiting lecturer or professor at Yale, Princeton, Swarthmore and other colleges, Ms. Heilbrun spent her entire academic career at Columbia, joining the faculty in 1960 as an instructor of English and comparative literature and retiring in 1992 as the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities. But she was best known as the author of nine scholarly books, including "Toward a Recognition of Androgyny," "Reinventing Womanhood" and "Writing a Woman's Life," and scores of articles that interpreted women's literature from a feminist perspective, and as the author of the Kate Fansler mysteries. Her heroine, like her creator, was a professor of literature and a feminist. The novels were ostensibly murder mysteries whose amateur sleuth sometimes sought clues in literary texts and a killer's motives in academic politics. Most were well received by readers, but some critics said the plots were thin and the social commentary thick, and that the real subjects were women's changing social positions, relationships with one another and struggle for independence. The books offered scathing depictions of academic backbiting, observations on Ivy League social pretensions and thinly veiled, unflattering portraits of Columbia colleagues, including one professor who seemed to have been modeled after the writer Lionel Trilling. Some critics complained that satiric wit and clever talk filled half a book before the victim fell dead, and that some of it sounded like an imitation of Oscar Wilde or George Bernard Shaw. But devotees said it was all good fun, and some compared her work to the cerebral puzzles of Dorothy L. Sayers. Fearing that her mystery writing might be seen by colleagues as frivolous and might even jeopardize her chances for tenure, Ms. Heilbrun concealed the identity of Amanda Cross for six years. In 1964 her first novel, "In the Last Analysis," was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. "Winning would have blown my cover," she recalled. But after the 1970 publication of "Poetic Justice," with its recognizable depiction of Columbia University's atmosphere after the student revolt of the late 1960's, Ms. Heilbrun's friends began to guess that she might be Amanda Cross, the author of three novels, including "The James Joyce Murder." Later novels included "Death in a Tenured Position," "No Word from Winifred" and "The Puzzled Heart." Carolyn Gold Heilbrun was born on Jan. 13, 1926, in East Orange, N.J., the only child of Archibald Gold, an accountant, and Estelle Roemer Gold, who, her daughter would recall, "sat at home and was bored out of her mind." The family moved to Manhattan when Ms. Heilbrun was 6, and she became a voracious reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton mysteries and, as a teenager, the novels of Virginia Woolf and Willa Cather. She graduated from private schools in New York and from Wellesley College in 1947 with a bachelor's degree in English. She was married in 1945 to James Heilbrun, a Harvard student who became a professor of economics at Fordham University. In addition to her son, of Brooklyn, and her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Margaret Heilbrun, of Brooklyn, and Emily Heilbrun, of Eugene, Ore., and two grandchildren. Enrolling in graduate school at Columbia, Ms. Heilbrun received a master's degree in 1951 and a doctorate in 1959. Her first notable essay was "The Character of Hamlet's Mother," a 1957 article in Shakespeare Quarterly. It portrayed Gertrude as clever, not shallow, lucid rather than silly: ideas that were forerunners of feminism at the time, but hardly startling when the essay was reprinted in 1990 as part of "Hamlet's Mother and Other Women." On the Columbia faculty, Ms. Heilbrun rose through the ranks: assistant professor in 1962, associate professor in 1967, full professor with tenure in 1972, Avalon Professor in 1985. In 1986 she became the first director of the university's Institute for Research on Women and Gender, which promotes feminist scholarship. Her academic specialty was British modern literature, roughly from 1890 to 1950, an era that included Yeats, Conrad and Eliot, with a particular focus on the Bloomsbury group, made up of Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, E. M. Forster and other writers. Although she was widely respected by feminist scholars, she complained when she retired that she was isolated by her male colleagues at Columbia. "When I spoke up for women's issues, I was made to feel unwelcome in my own department, kept off crucial committees, ridiculed, ignored," she told Anne Matthews in an interview for a New York Times Magazine article in 1992. Throughout her academic career, and afterward, Ms. Heilbrun continued to write books and contribute articles to professional journals, newspapers and magazines. She wrote numerous book reviews and essays for Hers, a former column in The Times. Her 1973 book, "Toward a Recognition of Androgyny: Aspects of Male and Female in Literature," brought her to prominence in the academic feminist movement. Rejecting traditional ideas of male and female and using examples from Greek literature, the Bible and other writings, she urged women to escape from what she called the prison of gender. Ms. Heilbrun drew on her long interest in biography and autobiography for her 1988 book, "Writing a Woman's Life," her first best seller, which focused on women writing about themselves and other women. Even accomplished women, like Virginia Woolf and Eudora Welty, tended to judge themselves on how well they fulfilled traditional expectations, she concluded.