Two giants of the feminist movement, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, have been named winners of the 2013 lifetime achievement award from the National Book Critics Circle. Their books, particularly “The Madwoman in the Attic” (1979) and “The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women” (1985), changed the shape of literary criticism and influenced generations of students and scholars.
The announcement came on Monday, along with the list of 30 finalists for the NBCC book awards, which will be presented Feb. 28 in New York.
Steve Kellman, chairman of the NBCC selection committee, praised Gilbert and Gubar’s “groundbreaking and nuanced study of the tenuous position of women writers and women characters.”
Reached by phone at her home in Bloomington, Ind., Gubar said, “I’m very grateful for the attention, not just for me and Sandra, but for our publishers, most especially W.W. Norton, Yale University and Indiana University.” Asked if she was surprised by the longevity of “The Madwoman in the Attic,” she said, “Everything about the longevity of that book surprises me in this age of electronic media.”