Here's an interesting Q&A session with Elaine Showalter on her new book: A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers From Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (Knopf)
I came across Showalter a few years ago when studying 19th century novels, and I can still remember her extracted essay in my critical reader, in fact I quoted from it in a good few of my own essays that year. That essay came from a book on English Women Writers, and her new book, a survey of American Women Writers, is no mean feat given the broad scope of American literary endeavours.
The title of Showalter's survey I recognise. "A Jury of her Peers" is also the title of a story by Susan Glaspell, which I also studied along the way to my literature degree (and which I loved very much) you can read it here, still as fresh as it was when it was written in the early part of the 20th c. If you've never read it, you should give it a go - it's marvelous.
I point this up, because Nuala Ni Chonchuir recently wrote about feminism and writing, with relation to Irish Women Writers over at Indieoma.com. which touches on the same sort of points: how do we go about getting real Irish women's writing - literary writing - a better deal and more notice in the canon.
There's plenty of reading in both articles to make you think about how literary canons get formed, but I leave that for another day's argument.