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All Sorts of Lives: Katherine Mansfield and the Art of Risking Everything
March 28, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Bestselling literary biographer Claire Harman takes a fresh look at the life of the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield through her revolutionary work on the short story.
Harman’s biography marks the centenary of the death of an author who was the only writer Virginia Woolf professed to be jealous of. Mansfield was an outsider and masher-up of form and convention whose short life was characterised by struggle, insecurity and sacrifice, alongside a relentless creative drive. Harman explores ten pivotal works and explains how Mansfield’s desire to grow as a writer pushed her into unknown territory and how illness sharpened her extraordinary love of life.
Harman’s works include biographies of Sylvia Townsend Warner, Fanny Burney, Robert Louis Stevenson and Charlotte Brontë, and the bestselling Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World. She also selected the stories in a new Mansfield collection, Wild Places: Selected Stories. Harman is a prizewinning poet and short-story writer and a professor of creative writing at Durham University. Here she talks to Alexandra Pringle, former editor in chief and now executive publisher at Bloomsbury Publishing. Pringle was also a founder of Virago Press, which champions women writers and aims to bring their voice to the widest readership around the world.