Montrealer by birth, she is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. She is the author of fifteen books, including five biographies, three books of poetry, travelogues, short fiction, and essays. Her latest book, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, won the International Biographers’ Association award, three Canadian Non-Fiction prizes, and was the London Daily Mail’s Best Book of the Year. She has won a Governor General’s Award for biography and been awarded Trudeau and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2012 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.