2015 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust  Prize for Nonfiction Winner

Rosemary Sullivan Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva  HarperCollins Canada


Rosemary Sullivan
Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva 
HarperCollins Canada


Rosemary Sullivan Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva  HarperCollins Canada


Jury Citation

Compelling figures are essential in a great biography. They need not be famous or historically significant but they do require an author to bring to life their passions, ideas, feats, and failures. Rosemary Sullivan achieves all of it with an insightful yet empathetic portrait of Svetlana Alliluyeva. Stalin’s Daughter expansively intertwines history, political intrigue, espionage, and domestic drama, yet Sullivan hones the episodes to one struggle: Alliluyeva’s attempt to escape her father’s shadow. When the “Soviet Princess” died, she was treated in the media more like a post-Cold War curiosity. Sullivan’s book delivers a fully wrought literary heroine.

About the Book

Svetlana Alliluyeva lived her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted the Soviet Union, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father. As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty. Rosemary Sullivan adroitly pieces together an intimate biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name.

About the Author

Rosemary Sullivan has written poetry, short fiction, biography, and literary criticism. Her recent books include Villa Air-Bel and Labyrinth of Desire. She is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and a recipient of the Lorne Pierce Medal, awarded by the Royal Society of Canada for her contribution to literature and culture. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Sullivan lives in Toronto. 

 


  
 
 

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