Big Ideas: Rosemary Sullivan – In Stalin’s Shadow

On Monday, Rosemary Sullivan read from her new book Stalin’s Daughter at the Millennium Library in the Carol Shields auditorium. Our guest blogger Jena Morris-Boissonneault was there! Read here reflection here.


Rosemary was such a pleasure to see. She was very easygoing and casual, taking a seat at the front of the room to speak to us. Her reading was very interesting because of the amount of detail she had about the history (and story) of Svetlana Alliluyeva.

Rosemary Sullivan at Red River College. Photo by Jena Morris-Boissonneault

Rosemary Sullivan at speaking to the crowd at the Millennium Library. Photo by Jena Morris-Boissonneault

Everyone in the audience was listening to Rosemary attentively as she deconstructed her novel and its scenes to give a preface for the passages she read to us. Rosemary also told us how she was able to collect all of this incredibly fascinating information about Stalin’s daughter’s life and her rejection of communism. I couldn’t begin to imagine all of the time she must have put into the creation of this eight-hundredpage book.

Altogether, Rosemary’s passion, intelligence, and good humour showed me that writing a biography like Stalin’s Daughter is definitely worth the work and time—she said it was an “extraordinary experience” that she will treasure for always, and I am thankful for her sharing her experience with us.

Jena Morris-Boissonneault