Dr. Marilyn Yalom grew up in Washington D.C. and was educated at Wellesley College, the Sorbonne, Harvard and Johns Hopkins. She has been married to the psychiatrist Irvin Yalom for fifty years and is the mother of four children and the grandmother of five. 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, Yalom was decorated as an Officier des Palmes Académiques by the French Government.
Her books include Maternity, Mortality, and the Literature of Madness (now 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), The Birth of the Chess Queen (2004), The American Resting Place (2008) and How the French Invented Love: 900 Years of Passion and Romance (2012).
Her most recent book is The Social Sex (2015).