Monique Wittig was known internationally as a writer, poet, and social theorist. Her first novel, The Opoponax, brought her major critical acclaim and the coveted Prix Medici. As a founding leader in the French feminist movement, Wittig’s literary and theoretical works were recognized as essential contributions to feminist thought in Europe and the U.S. and to the emerging movement for lesbian and gay rights.
Wittig’s work has had a fundamental impact upon feminist theory and lesbian and gay theory worldwide. Her novels, including Les Guérillères, The Lesbian Body, Lesbian Peoples: Materials for a Dictionary, and Virgile, non, combine a sensitivity to the nuances of language and style with a powerful illustration of her philosophy of lesbian materialism, a theoretical position she set forth in a series of essays collected in The Straight Mind , a term she coined.
Her work has been translated into a dozen languages, including German, Dutch, Finish, Japanese, and Spanish. At the University of Arizona, Monique Wittig taught courses on the theory and practice of writing, LGBT literature and culture, lesbian paradigms, and graduate seminars in French literature.