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Diana Trilling Edit Profile


Diana Trilling, American writer. Guggenheim fellow, 1950-1951, 91-92; Rockefeller-National Endowment for Humanities grantee, 1977-1979. Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences; member Phi Beta Kappa (honorary).


Her parents, Sadie (née Forbert) and Joseph Rubin, were Polish Jews, her father from Warsaw and her mother from the local countryside.


Bachelor of Arts, Radcliffe College, 1925.


She was a reviewer for The Nation magazine. Carolyn Heilbrun wrote an insightful essay about her in her own final memoirs, When Men Were the Only Models We Had (2002). In his 1986 essay collection The Moronic Inferno, Martin Amis discusses the experience of meeting Trilling and her impact on New York City:"In New York, Diana Trilling is regarded with the suspicious awe customarily reserved for the city's senior literary ladies.

Whenever I announced my intention of going along to interview her, people looked at me with trepedation, a new respect, a certain holy dread. I felt I was about to enter the lion's den — or the den of the literary lionness, which is often just as dangerous.".


  • She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1976.



Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences. Member Phi Beta Kappa (honorary).


Daughter of Joseph and Sadie Helene (Forbert) Rubin. M. Lionel Trilling, June 12, 1929. 1 son, James Lionel.

Joseph Rubin

Sadie Helene (Forbert) Rubin

Lionel Trilling