Marilyn French (1929-2009) was regarded as one of the greatest living feminist writers. Her controversial and provocative first novel, The Women's Room published in 1977, sold twenty million copies worldwide and quickly became a classic of the women's movement. She was also mentioned in the 1982 ABBA song, The Day Before You Came. Additionally, Marilyn French was a literary critic.
French was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1992. This experience was the basis for her book A Season in Hell: A Memoir (1998). French died from heart failure at age seventy-nine from Manhattan, New York City.