Elusive Subject: A Biographer's Life

Elusive Subject: A Biographer's Life

by Phyllis Grosskurth


View All Available Formats & Editions


When Phyllis Grosskurth was a girl, she imagined herself growing up to be a detective, a sleuth on the trail of the wicked, the dangerous, the ones who didn’t want to be found out. Some time later, when she started reading books far beyond her years, her ambition changed to that of writer. Her destiny combined both; today she is the tireless discoverer of secret lives, whose international reputation for daring scholarship has made her, in the words of one critic, "Canada’s premier biographer."

In Elusive Subject, the eager examiner of others' lives looks fearlessly at her own – a personal life as eventful, passionate, and revealing of her times as any of her subjects’. Her other life was that of biographer, where the detective’s instincts lead her to complex figures: the Victorian essayist John Addington Symonds, sex researcher Havelock Ellis, psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, and finally the poet Byron. This rich and captivating memoir chronicles the adventures of an exceptional literary career, while candidly charting the growth of an ambitious and talented woman who has all her life tested the conventions of her times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551990620
Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross
Publication date: 09/01/2000
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Phyllis Grosskurth’s biographies include the Governor General’s Award winner John Addington Symonds, and Byron: The Flawed Angel, hailed as the definitive short biography by The New York Times. She reviews frequently for The New York Review of Books and the Globe and Mail and lectures on the history of psychoanalysis and the art of biography.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews