Born in communist Bulgaria in 1941, Julia Kristeva fled to France as a refugee in 1965. She is a renowned psychoanalyst, critic, novelist, and professor of linguistics at the Université de Paris VII. Kristeva is also an extraordinarily influential feminist thinker – along with fellow theorists Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray.
Although not necessarily a household name in Britain, her ideas have made a huge impact, and she is said to walk in the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir. She was awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize in 2004, and the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thought in 2006. Kristeva is the author of over 20 books including, more recently, a string of detective novels.