Marilyn Yalom has an extensive list of scholarly publications, including Blood Sisters (1993), A History of the Breast (1997), A History of the Wife (2001), Birth of the Chess Queen (2004) and How the French Invented Love (2012), which was a finalist for the Christian Gauss Phi Beta Kappa literary criticism award. Her 2008 book, The American Resting Place, contains a portfolio of 64 black and white art photos taken by her son Reid. Her edited books include Women Writers of the West Coast with photos by Margo Davis, Rethinking the Family with Barrie Thorne, Coming to Light with Diane Middlebrook, Revealing Lives with Susan Bell, and Inside the American Couple with Laura Carstensen. She is also the author of The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendship (2015), Compelled to Witness: Women's Memoirs of the French Revolution (2015), and The Amorous Heart: An Unconventional History of Love (2018).
Yalom, a former professor of French, was decorated by the French government in 1992 as an Officier des Palmes Académiiques “for services rendered to French culture.” In 2009 she was presented with a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly “honoring extraordinary leadership in the literary arts and continued commitment to ensuring the quality of reading” through her book The American Resting Place: Four Hundred Years of History, “thereby benefiting the people of the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California.” In 2013, she was awarded an Alumnae Achievement Award by Wellesley College, the college’s highest honor.