Elżbieta Borensztejn was born on 4 January 1946 in Łódź, Poland, the daughter of Hena and Aaron Borensztejn with Jewish origin. Following her birth, her parents moved to Paris, France, and in 1951 they emigrating to Canada. She grew up in the province of Quebec - first in a small Laurentian town, subsequently in Montreal. In 1967, she married Richard Appignanesi, another writer, with whom she had one son in 1975, Josh Appignanesi, a film director. They divorced in 1984. With her life partner John Forrester, she had a daugther, Katrina Forrester, a Research Fellow in the history of modern political thought at St John's College, Cambridge. She lives in London.

She graduated from McGill University with a B.A. degree in 1966 and her M.A. the following year. During 1970-71 she was a staff writer for the Centre for Community Research in New York City and is a former University of Essex lecturer in European Studies. She was a founding member and editorial director of the Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative. Through the eighties she was a Deputy Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, UK, for whom she also edited the seminal Documents Series and established ICA television and the video Writers in Conversation series. She produced several made for television films and had written a number of books before devoting herself to writing fulltime in 1990. In recognition of her contribution to literature, Lisa Appignanesi has been honoured with a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. In 2004, she became Deputy President of English PEN and has run its highly successful 'Free Expression is No Offence Campaign' against the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. In 2008 she became President of English PEN. She writes for The Guardian, The Independent and has made several series for BBC Radio 4, as well as frequently appearing as a cultural commentator.

Book List in Order: 11 titles

  • Paris, 1990. Comte de Landois has ordered his wife Marguerite to travel from Paris, to join him in the Loire valley. Her journey into the pastoral quiet shattered by the appearance of a dead man on the railway tracks. Who is he, and why does Margueri...


  • In this sequel to the very successful Paris Requiem, Marguerite de Landois again finds herself embroiled in a mystery - this time involving her husband, the Count de Landois. She again calls upon Chief Inspector Durand to help her unravel the mystery...



  • Paris 1899. The city is a glittering hub of fin-desiecle activity. Theatres and galleries are vibrant with artistic energy. The new metro is under construction, and so is the site for the centennial Universal Exhibition. But there is also violent pol...


  • Set in a world of competing therapies, this psychological thriller examines the meaning of friendship and the values of intimacy between friends. When journalist Isabel Morgan disappears, colleagues see it as another gambit in an ever-dramatic life. ...


  • A deranged assassin has gunned down fourteen women students in Montreal. Celebrated actress Madeleine Blais is haunted by a sense that somewhere out there, where her filmed image roams so freely, someone is determined to kill her too. Her old friend ...


  • An intriguing, compulsive romantic thriller from the highly acclaimed author of A Good Woman and Memory and Desire. How well do you know the person you're married to? Cambridge. Tessa and Stephen's marriage is quietly foundering. She wants a baby, bu...


  • Maria d'Este is beautiful, and the seductive power of her charm has attracted men and worldly success in equal measure. But now it brings her only an acute awareness of its darker side - the power to destroy....


  • When Dr. Jacob Jardine strolls through a bustling marketplace in 1934 Paris, he is drawn to the tantalizing Sylvia--half child, half temptress, the darling of bohemian Paris, and soon to become a heroine of the Resistance. Driven by inner demons and ...






  • This captivating book presents a uniquely comprehensive cultural history of cabaret, where the most radical of artists, poets, writers, musicians, and theater directors have gathered since 1881. Lisa Appignanesi takes us to the original cabaret -- th...


  • A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN... A MISSING LOVER... A CRYPTIC LETTER.. A DARKLY EROTIC REVELATION The letter arrived unsigned, but it is the only hope journalist Helena Latimer has that her beloved Max Bergmann is still alive. Now driven to search for him,...