Lisa Appignanesi

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Lisa Appignanesi OBE
Born Elżbieta Borensztejn
(1946-01-04) 4 January 1946 (age 68)
Łódź, Poland
Pen name Lisa Appignanesi,
Jessica Ayre
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality British/Canadian[citation needed]
Ethnicity Mixed
Alma mater McGill University
Period 1982–present
Spouse Richard Appignanesi (1967–1984, divorced)
Partner John Forrester
Children Josh Appignanesi
Katrina Forrester
Website
lisaappignanesi.com

Elżbieta "Lisa" Appignanesi OBE (née Borensztejn; born 4 January 1946) is a British[citation needed] writer, novelist, and campaigner for free expression. She is a former President of English PEN and Chair of the Trustees of the Freud Museum in London. She is Visiting Professor, Department of English, King's College London, and holds a Wellcome Trust People Award for her public series, hosted by King's College London, on The Brain and the Mind. Her book Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors won the 2009 British Medical Association Award for the Public Understanding of Science, among other prizes.[1]

Biography[edit]

Personal life and education[edit]

She was born Elżbieta Borensztejn on 4 January 1946 in Łódź, Poland, the daughter of Hena and Aaron Borensztejn.[2] Following her birth, her parents moved to Paris, France, and in 1951 emigrated to Montreal, Canada, where she grew up.[3]

She studied at McGill University in Montreal, where she was a features editor for The McGill Daily.[4] In 1967, she earned her BA and MA degrees (during which she wrote a thesis on Edgar Allan Poe). In 1967, she also married Richard Appignanesi, another writer, with whom she had one son, the film director Josh Appignanesi. After their marriage the couple moved to England, where she obtained a DPhil degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Sussex in 1970.[4] During this period she spent some time in Paris and Vienna, and wrote a book called Proust, Musil and Henry James: femininity and the creative imagination,[4] which was published in 1974. The couple divorced in 1984.[2]

Her later partner is John Forrester. They had a daughter, her second child, Katrina Forrester, a Lecturer in History at Queen Mary University of London. Appignanesi lives in London.

Academic work[edit]

After a year working as a writer in a Manhattan social research firm, Appignanesi returned to Britain to work as a European Studies lecturer at the University of Essex.[4] She also lectured at New England College, and in 1976 helped found the Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative, which included writers John Berger and Arnold Wesker and launched the graphic Beginners series with titles on Marx and Freud. In 1975 she published The Cabaret, a history of cabaret,[3] a new edition of which came out in 2005 (Yale University Press).

ICA[edit]

In 1980 she left academia to become Director of Talks and Seminars at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, where she stayed for ten years and helped the ICA talks programme gain a reputation as "an intellectual hothouse".[3] While at the ICA she edited the Documents series, which included the books Postmodernism and Ideas from France.[3] She became Deputy Director of the ICA in 1986 and created the ICA-Television branch, which produced England's Henry Moore in 1988 and Seductions for Channel Four.[5] She left the ICA in 1990 to write full-time.

Writing[edit]

In 1991 she published a best-selling novel, Memory and Desire. A major study of Freud's life, ideas and his relations to women, Freud's Women (co-written with John Forrester) was published in 1992.[4] As well as these she has written several other works of fiction, including thrillers. She has also written the award-winning Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors in 2008 and All About Love (2011).[6][7][8]

Appignanesi has co-written two films on Salman Rushdie for French television,[9] presented two series of radio programmes on Sigmund Freud for BBC Radio 4,[10] presented the arts and ideas Nightwaves programme for BBC Three, contributed to a variety of programmes, including Saturday Review, Start the Week and Woman's Hour, and written for the New Writing Partnership.[11] Appignanesi has appeared as a cultural commentator on many television programmes, including the BBC's Newsnight and Late Review. She was General Editor of The Big Ideas series, published by Profile Books, which includes Violence by Slavoj Zizek and Bodies, by Susie Orbach. She worked as a fellow of the Brain and Behaviour Laboratory at the Open University,[4] was a council-member of the ICA (2000–06) and was Chair of the Freud Museum, London from 2008 to 2014.[12] She has also written for The Guardian,[12] The Observer, The Independent, and The Daily Telegraph.[4][9] She is a member of the Board of IMPRESS Project, the independent monitor for the UK Press.

In 2004 she became the Deputy President of English PEN and then President (2008-11). As part of her work with English PEN she edited Free Expression is No Offence, a collection of writings that formed part of English PEN's protest against what became the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 and helped induce the British Government to amend the Bill by inserting a robust clause protecting freedom of expression.[12] Under her Presidency, English PEN launched its report on Libel Reform, "Free Speech is Not for Sale," helped to rid Britain of obsolete Blasphemy and Criminal Libel laws, as well as setting up the PEN PINTER PRIZE. Appignanesi was also voted one of Britain's Top 101 female public intellectuals.[13]

Appignanesi has been nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize,[14] and the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize for her critically acclaimed family memoir Losing the Dead, while her novel The Memory Man was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and won the Canadian Holocaust Fiction Award.[14] Mad, Bad and Sad was short-listed for the Warwick Prize and long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize,[15] amongst others, and won several awards. With John Berger, she translated the work of Nella Bielski. The Year is 42 won the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Literary Translation. Her popular fictions are reminiscent of those of Lesley Glaister and Sally Beauman, while her psychological thrillers have been compared to those of Nicci French.

In 1987 she was made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.[14]

Appignanesi was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to literature.[16][17]

Bibliography[edit]

As Lisa Appignanesi[edit]

  • The Language of Trust (1973)
  • Proust, Musil and Henry James: Femininity and the Creative Imagination (1974)
  • The Cabaret (1975)
  • The Rushdie File (1989) (edited with Sara Maitland)
  • Memory and Desire (1991)
  • Freud's Women (1992) (co-author: John Forrester)
  • Dreams of Innocence (1994)
  • A Good Woman (1996)
  • The Things We Do for Love (1997)
  • Losing the Dead: A Family Memoir (1999)
  • The Dead of Winter (1999)
  • Sanctuary (2000)
  • Paris Requiem (2001)
  • The Cabaret (2004)
  • Kicking Fifty (2004)
  • The Memory Man (2004)
  • Free Expression is No Offence (2005)
  • Unholy Loves (2005)
  • Simone De Beauvoir (Life & Times S.) (2005)
  • Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors (2008)
  • All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion (2011)
  • Fifty Shades of Feminism (edited with Rachel Holmes and Susie Orbach) (2013)

As Jessica Ayre[edit]

  • Not to Be Trusted (1982)
  • One-Man Woman (1982)
  • Hard to Handle (1983)
  • New Discovery (1984)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Brain and the Mind. Neuroscientists Meet Artists, Philosophers & Analysts". Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Elizabeth Lumley (2008), The Canadian Who's Who, University of Toronto Press. 
  3. ^ a b c d Profile of Lisa Appignanesi, Crime Time Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2009
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Lisa Appignanesi – About". Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "England's Henry Moore". BFI Film and TV Database. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  6. ^ Groskop, Viv (3 February 2008). "Review: Mad, Bad and Sad by Lisa Appignanesi". London: The Observer. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "An interview with Lisa Appignanesi". Bookslut.com. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "Lisa Appignanesi's 'Mad, Bad and Sad'". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800". University of Warwick. Retrieved 28 February 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Freudian Slips". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "New Writing Partnership: New Writing Season". New Writing. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c "Lisa Appignanesi – guardian.co.uk". London: The Guardian. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  13. ^ "Here's a few you missed". The Guardian (London). 7 July 2004. 
  14. ^ a b c "Welcome to Waterstones.com – Lisa Appignanesi". Waterstones. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  15. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/books/features/samueljohnson/longlist.shtml
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 9. 29 December 2012.
  17. ^ "New Year Honours lists 2013", Cabinet Office

External links[edit]