Jun 12, 2020
Rosemary Sullivan is an acclaimed Canadian poet and biographer. She has written definitive biographies about Elizabeth Smart and Gwendolyn MacEwen as well as a book about the early life of Margaret Atwood. In 2015, Rosemary published Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva to widespread praise.
Ben sits down with Rosemary in Toronto to talk about what goes into making a biography (such as calling the CIA first), how she wrote Stalin's Daughter, and much more.
About the Guest
Biographer and poet Rosemary Sullivan is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. Her 14 books include the critically acclaimed Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape and a House in Marseille and Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion and Romantic Obsession. Shadow Maker, her biography of Gwendolyn MacEwen, won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. She has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Trudeau, and Jackman Fellowships and was awarded the Lorne Pierce Medal by the Royal Society for her contributions to Literature and Culture. In 2012 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Mentioned in this Episode
The Quote of the Week
Almost any biographer, if he respects facts, can give us much
more than another fact to add to our collection. He can give us the
creative fact; the fertile fact; the fact that suggests and
- Virginia Woolf