On Monday, January 27th, the Friends of the Key West Library will present Phyllis Rose, a biographer, literary critic and essayist. Ms. Rose’s talk will take place at the Tropic Cinema on Eaton Street. Admission to the lectures is free. The talk begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. Seating starts at 5:40 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Rose’s first book was the biography Virginia Woolf, Woman of Letters, published in 1978. A finalist for the National Book Award, it was in the forefront of feminist re-evaluations of literary figures and contributed to the surge of interest in Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury in the late 1970s.
In 1983 she published Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages, which, taking as its model Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians, considered a large issue (the institution of marriage) through portraits of individual marriages. Anatole Broyard in The New York Times called it a “brilliant and original book.” It has stayed in print for over 25 years. Nora Ephron told Time Magazine in 2009 that she read it every four or five years.
Her most recent book, Alfred Stieglitz: Taking Pictures, Making Painters illuminates Stieglitz as a revolutionary force in the history of American art.
Stieglitz was one of the first American photographers to achieve international fame, and for many years, because of his active engagement in the camera club movement, he was in effect the CEO of photography in America. As part of his strategy for establishing photography as fine art, he produced beautiful and influential photography magazines, including the legendary Camera Work.
Rose lives in New York City and Key West, where she continues to collaborate with her husband, Laurent de Brunhoff, on the popular series of children’s books featuring Babar the Elephant.