Betty Friedan (1921-2006) is hailed by historians as a seminal figure in the 'Second Wave' of the women's feminist movement. In 1957, Friedan wrote a questionnaire for her former classmates at a reunion at the all-female, Smith College. The results revealed that many women shared the same frustrations as her in their roles as housewives and mothers. Friedans findings provided a clear-eyed analysis of the issues that affected womens lives in the decades after the Second World War, and became the basis to her book, The Feminine Mystique. A sensation on publication selling over 3 million copies, it established Friedan as one of the chief architects of the womens liberation movement.A novelist and journalist, Lionel Shriver was born in North Carolina and educated at Columbia University in New York. Her eight published novels include New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, for which she won the Orange Prize in 2005. Her ninth novel So Much for That will be published in 2010. She writes regularly for the Guardian, the Times, and The Daily Telegraph, and has published features, reviews, and columns in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Economist, among many other publications. She lives in London.
Author Anna Quindlen was born in Philadelphia on July 8, 1953. She graduated from Barnard in 1974. Quindlen worked as a reporter for the New York Post and the New York Times and wrote columns for the Times. She won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary before devoting herself to writing fiction. She has written both adult fiction (including Object Lessons, Black and Blue and One True Thing, which was made into a motion picture starring Meryl Streep) and children's fiction (Happily Ever After and The Tree That Came to Stay).
Gail Collins was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1945. Her birth name was Gail Gleason. She has a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University and an M.A. in government from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Collins is most recognized for her work at The New York Times. She writes an op-ed column for the paper every Thursday and Saturday. She was also the first woman to have the position of Editorial Page Editor at the Times from 2001 to 2007. Her latest book is entitled, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.