Elaine Showalter was the chair of the 2007 International Booker Prize judges. She is an American literary critic, feminist and writer.

Showalter was born in Boston in 1941, and is renowned for having influenced feminist literary criticism in United States academia, developing the concept and practice of gynocritics, a term describing the study of ‘women as writers’.

She has written and edited numerous books and articles focused on a variety of subjects, from feminist literary criticism to fashion, sometimes sparking controversy, especially with her work on illnesses.

Showalter has also been a television critic for People magazine and a commentator on BBC radio and television. She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism.