Charlotte Gray on the truth and truthiness in biography

Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray, one of Canada’s best-known non-fiction writers, explores the line between imagination and invention in contemporary biography, in the Hugh MacLennan Memorial Lecture, presented by McGill University Library, Friends of the Library and Blue Metropolis Foundation on Thursday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m.

The lecture will address the evolution of biography from reverential chronology to a mix of fact, imagination and interpretation, encased in fictional techniques. Sometimes the result is a compelling portrait that rings true – but not always. How does a contemporary biographer tread the line between imagination and invention, and how does a reader know whom to trust?

Gray holds a BA in Modern History from Oxford University, and is the 2003 recipient of the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history, and vice-chair of the board of the Canadian National History Society. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Truth and truthiness in biography; April 23, 5;30 p.m., Leacock Building (855 Sherbrooke Street West), rm 132. To reserve email or call 514-398-4681.