Lyndall Gordon is shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize


Lyndall Gordon's Emily Dickinson biography LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS, which has been widely praised both sides of the Atlantic, and sold in Italy and Spain, has been shortlisted for the 55th Duff Cooper Prize.

The prize has previously been won by writers like William Dalrymple, Anne Applebaum and Adam Hochschild, and the seven strong shortlist for 2010 includes Edmund De Waal's THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES, Sarah Bakewell's HOW TO LIVE and Keith Richards's LIFE. The prize will be awarded at a private ceremony at the French Embassy on 22 February.

LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS is published in the UK by Virago, and in the US by Viking. Italian rights are sold to Fazi and Spanish rights to Edhasa, who will also publish Gordon's CHARLOTTE BRONTE: A PASSIONATE LIFE and VIRGINIA WOOLF: A WRITER'S LIFE.  Lyndall's VIRGINIA WOOLF biography will also be published in Bulgaria by Riva.

Lyndall's ground-breaking biography of Emily Dickinson, following the vehement feud between the Dickinson family and Emily's brother's mistress after the enigmatic American poet's death, and exploding the myth of the reclusive genius, was a Telegraph Book of the Year 2010, listed in the Independent's Pick of 2010 and picked as one of 4 Biography and Memoir Best Books of 2010 by The Economist. Virago will publish the paperback edition in April.

Lyndall Gordon lives in Oxford. An acclaimed biographer, she has been winner of the Cheltenham Prize and the James Tait Black prize, and long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. In addition to her Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Bronte biographies, she is also author of A PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY JAMES; T.S. ELIOT: AN IMPERFECT LIFE, and VINDICATION: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft (long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, 2005) as well as a personal memoir of a fifties childhood in South Africa, SHARED LIVES.

Praise for Lyndall Gordon:

'Gordon is one of the best biographers writing today.' --  Catherine Hollis, Sacramento Book Review

'A gifted storyteller.' -- Carmela Ciuraru, Miami Herald

'Lyndall Gordon is known for the thoroughness of her research and meticulous attention to detail … a fine researcher's eye … an exceptional and unusual mind.' --  Janet van Eeden, The Witness


'Explodes all previous theories in an electrifying family portrait…a Shakespearean tale of a house divided. A jolting and utterly intriguing watershed achievement.' -- Starred review, Booklist

'Lyndall Gordon proposes a theory to account for the enigma of Emily Dickinson's life as a notorious recluse which is so brilliant that, if this were a novel, a reviewer would be duty-bound not to reveal a thrilling twist…Unforcedly and powerfully original.' -- Caroline Moore, 'Book of the Week', Sunday Telegraph

'As rich as a novel by Henry James.' -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Telegraph

'Few portraits of Emily Dickinson are as vivid, few explorations of a family feud more riveting.' -- Carol Herman, Washington Times

'Gordon takes the lid off the violent emotional life of the Dickinson family and its far-reaching effects on the poet's work. What she exposes is a seething Peyton Place of adultery, betrayal and lifelong feuding.' -- Claire Harman, Literary Review

Lyndall's website: