Jan 12, 2020
Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of ten acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada in 1979, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before she turned to biography and popular history.
She's been a judge for several of Canada's most prestigious literary awards, including the Giller and Cundall Prizes; has five honorary doctorates and how won numerous awards, including the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.
We met at her home near the Governor General's grounds in Ottawa to riff off renowned LBJ biographer Robert Caro's latest book, Working. We talk about, among other things, Caro's practice, Pierre Berton, Charlotte's latest book Murdered Midas; A Millionaire, His Goldmine and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise, a biography of the Canadian mine owner Sir Harry Oakes, research methods, academics, adding voices to the mix, academics, the teaching of history, the removal of Sir John A. MacDonald's statue, local historians, and the current dearth of Canadian historical novels.