Rosemary Sullivan

Current affiliation:
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

Rosemary Sullivan is an award-winning writer, biographer, journalist, activist, and expert on creative non-fiction and biographical studies.

Rosemary Sullivan is an internationally known writer and biographer, author of 14 books. Her latest Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva has been sold in 18 countries and universally praised. Previous publications include Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape and a House in Marseille, which focused on Varian Fry and his American Emergency Rescue Committee's successful efforts to assist refugees to escape Vichy France in 1941-42. Other books include Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession, as well as biographies of Elizabeth Smart, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Margaret Atwood

Biographer and poet Rosemary Sullivan is an award-winning writer, journalist and a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. Before retiring, she was Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto in Creative Non-fiction and Biographical Studies, and the director of the MA Program in English in the Field of Creative Writing. She has taught at universities in France, India and Canada.

Her latest book, Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape and a House in Marseille (HarperCollins) won the Canadian Jewish Book Prize for Non-Fiction in 2006. It was published in Canada, the U.S., England, Spain, Brazil, and the Czech Republic and is scheduled to appear in Italy. She is the author of twelve books including Cuba: Grace Under Pressure with photographs by Malcolm David Batty (2003); Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession (2001) published in Canada, the U.S., England, Spain, and Latin America; and the national best seller The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out (1998). Her 1995 biography Shadow Maker: The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction, the Canadian Author's Association Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the University of British Columbia's Medal for Canadian Biography, the City of Toronto Book Award and was nominated for the Trillium prize. It became the basis for Brenda Longfellow's award-winning documentary Shadow Maker (1998). Sullivan's first biography, By Heart: Elizabeth Smart/A Life (1991) was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction. Her first poetry collection The Space a Name Makes (1986) won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. In 2001, Black Moss Press released Memory-Making: The Selected Essays of Rosemary Sullivan that included essays published in Canadian and International magazines.

Her journalistic pieces have won her a National Magazine Awards silver medal and a Western Journalism Awards first prize for travelogue. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, 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. A Montrealer by birth, Rosemary Sullivan received her B.A. from McGill University, her M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and her Ph.D. from the University of Sussex.