A Life of One’s Own

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Author: Joanna Biggs

Category: Biography & True Stories

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: W&N

ISBN: 9781474621243

RRP: $26.99

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‘A beautiful, deeply philosophical book about reading as a form of existential consolation’ Literary Review

‘Acute and tender . . . alive with discovery and desire’ Observer

‘A meditation, by turns glorious and aching, on what it means to be a woman and to try to be free’ Amia Srinivasan

‘A gift to readers of all ages. Engaging . . . poignant . . . uplifting’ Washington Post

‘I adored this book . . . a generous, enlivening work, destined to be passed from friend to friend for a long time to come’ Megan Hunter

In this intricate, intimate and dazzlingly original group biography, Joanna Biggs looks to eight revolutionary women writers who each sought freedom and intellectual fulfilment in their lifetimes and asks: why is it so important for women to read one another? By illuminating the motivations, desires and disappointments of Mary Wollstonecraft, George Eliot, Zora Neale Hurston, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison and Elena Ferrante, Biggs lights a way past the traditional goals and expectations of femininity and towards a life lived generously and joyfully for oneself.

Acute and tender . . . alive with discovery and desire – OBSERVER

[An] absorbing, eccentric book. Alongside Biggs’s search for a way to be a woman apart from being a wife is her search for a way to be a writer apart from being a critic. On the evidence of A Life of One’s Own, she has found it – NEW YORKER

A meditation, by turns glorious and aching, on what it means to be a woman and to try to be free

Joanna Biggs is an unmissable writer. She gives new scope and fresh meaning to the idea of literary empathy

A beautiful, deeply philosophical book about reading as a form of existential consolation . . . wonderfully inconclusive, moving and original . . . a brilliant exploration of uncertainty and a compelling anti-guide to art and life – LITERARY REVIEW

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