Your cart is empty.
Limelight - Canadian Women and the Rise of Celebrity Autobiography


Canadian Women and the Rise of Celebrity Autobiography

By Katja Lee
Subjects Biography & Autobiography, Social Science, Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies, Life Writing
Series Life Writing Hide Details
Hardcover : 9781771124294, 302 pages, February 2020

Table of contents

Table of Contents
Introduction: From Clara Morris to Clara Hughes: The Tricky Business of Being a Famous Woman
1. The Changing Faces of Fame in Canada
2. Strictly Professional: An Age of Image Control, 1890-1930
3. The Rise of the Private Life: When Offstage Moved Onstage, 1930-1980
4. More Visible and Valuable Than Ever Before: Celebrity Lives in the Limelight, 1990s+
Coda: Is There a Future for Celebrity Autobiography in a Digital Age?


At the heart of fame is the tricky business of image management. Over the last 115 years, the celebrity autobiography has emerged as a popular and useful tool for that project. Using the memoirs of famous Canadian women like L. M. Montgomery, Nellie McClung, the Dionne Quintuplets, Margaret Trudeau, and Shania Twain, Limelight traces the rise of celebrity autobiography in Canada and the role gender has played in the rise to fame and in writing about that experience.

Arguing that the celebrity autobiography is always negotiating historically specific conditions, Katja Lee charts a history of celebrity in English Canada and the conditions that shape the way women access and experience fame. These contexts shed light on the stories women tell about their lives and the kinds of public images they cultivate in their autobiographies. As strategies of self-representation change and the pressure to represent the private life escalates, the celebrity autobiography undergoes three distinct shifts in form, function, and content during the period examined in this study.

Limelight: Canadian Women and the Rise of Celebrity Autobiography is the first book to explore the history and development of the celebrity autobiography and offers compelling evidence of the critical role of gender and nation in the way fame is experienced and represented.