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Amanda Cross (1) [1926–2003]

This page covers the author of Death in a Tenured Position.

For other authors named Amanda Cross, see the disambiguation page.

Amanda Cross (1) has been aliased into Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

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Works have been aliased into Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

Works have been aliased into Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

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Carolyn Gold was the only child of Jewish immigrant parents. She grew up in Manhattan, attending the private Birch Wathen School and spending hours alone roller-skating around the city or reading voraciously at the library. She went to Wellesley College, where she met her future husband, Jim Heilbrun, then a Harvard student. They married in 1945 and had three children. Carolyn Heilbrun earned her postgraduate degrees at Columbia University, specializing in the works of Virginia Woolf. She taught at Brooklyn College for a couple of years and served as a visiting lecturer/professor at Yale, Princeton, Swarthmore and other colleges, but spent nearly her entire academic career at Columbia. She joined the faculty in 1960 as an instructor of English and comparative literature and retired in 1992 as the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities. Prof. Heilbrun was best known in academic circles as the author of 14 nonfiction books, including Toward a Recognition of Androgyny (1973), Reinventing Womanhood (1979), and Writing a Woman's Life (1988), as well as dozens of scholarly articles that interpreted women's literature from a feminist perspective. Beginning in 1964, she wrote the popular Kate Fansler mystery novels under the pseudonym Amanda Cross. Prof. Heilbrun concealed her identity for six years, even after winning an Edgar Award for best first novel, fearing her (mostly) male colleagues would consider mystery writing too frivolous and that her sideline might jeopardize her chances for tenure. In fact, she became the first woman to receive tenure in Columbia's English Department in 1971. Kate Fansler, like her creator, was a literature professor and a feminist. The novels also served as an outlet for Prof. Heilbrun's views on academic politics and the treatment of women at universities. Carolyn Heilbrun committed suicide at her apartment in New York City in 2003.

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