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is a South African writer and academic, known for her literary biographies
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...
. Born in Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...
, she was an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa.-History:The roots of...
, then a doctoral student at Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at St Hilda's College, Oxford
St Hilda's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England.The college was founded in 1893 as a hall for women, and remained an all-women's college until 2006....
Gordon is the author of Eliot's Early Years
(1977), which won the British Academy's Rose Mary Crawshay prize, and Eliot's New Life
(1988), which were later published together as T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life
(1999). She also wrote Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life
(1984), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language and are Britain's oldest literary awards...
, Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life
(1994), winner of the Cheltenham prize for literature, Shared Lives
(2005), and Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft
(2005). Her most recent publication is Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family's Feuds
(2010), which has overturned the established assumptions about the poet's life.