Marilyn Yalom grew up in Washington D.C. and was educated at Wellesley College, the Sorbonne, Harvard and Johns Hopkins. She has been a professor of French and comparative literature, director of an institute for research on women, a popular speaker on the lecture circuit, and the author of numerous books and articles on literature and women's history. Her books have been translated into 20 languages. In 1991 she was decorated as an Officier des Palmes Académiques by the French Government. Books by Marilyn Yalom include Maternity, Mortality, and the Literature of Madness (out of print), Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women's Memory (1993), A History of the Breast (1997), A History of the Wife (2001), Birth of the Chess Queen (2004), The American Resting Place (2008) and How the French Invented Love: 900 Years of Passion and Romance (2012).