Hermione Lee

Edith WhartonHermione Lee is a British based biographer and literary critic. Best known for her biographies on Willa Cather and Virginia Woolf her exhaustively detailed and weighty tomes have both a popular and academic audience.

Educated in Oxford and scheduled to take up the presidency of Wolfson College Oxford later this year, Lee has been a judge for the Man Booker prize, Channel Four TV book show presenter as well as a contributor to the Times literary Supplement, the Observer and BBC radio.

Writing from a “room of her own”, the garden shed, Lees latest biography is a study of Edith Wharton. Published in 2007 Lee's aim is to show Wharton as a more than just a privileged chronicler of upper-class American society but rather a challenging, modern thinker and writer.

Hermione Lee is set to make three appearances during the festival, an individual session looking at her own work plus two panel groups focusing on books on TV and the art of biography. Lee confesses to being both bossy and needing to be liked so this could make for an interesting, very public, balancing act.