Wifedom

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Author: Anna Funder

Category: Biography & True Stories

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton

ISBN: 9780143787112

RRP: $35.00

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A blazing, genre-bending masterpiece from one of the most inventive writers of our time.

Looking for wonder and some reprieve from the everyday, Anna Funder slips into the pages of her hero George Orwell. As she watches him create his writing self, she tries to remember her own…
When she uncovers his forgotten wife, it’s a revelation. Eileen O’Shaughnessy’s literary brilliance shaped Orwell’s work and her practical nous saved his life. But why – and how – was she written out of the story?
Using newly discovered letters from Eileen to her best friend, Funder recreates the Orwells’ marriage, through the Spanish Civil War and WW II in London. As she rolls up the screen concealing Orwell’s private life she is led to question what it takes to be a writer – and what it is to be a wife.
Compelling and utterly original, Wifedom speaks to the unsung work of women everywhere today, while offering a breathtakingly intimate view of one of the most important literary marriages of the 20th century. It is a book that speaks to our present moment as much as it illuminates the past.
‘So, she will live writing the letters she did – six to her best friend, and three to her husband. I know where she was when she wrote them. I know that the dishes were frozen in the sink, that she was bleeding, that he was in bed with another woman – and she knew it. . . .I supply only what a film director would, directing an actor on set – the wiping of spectacles, the ash on the carpet, the sweet dog’s chin on her knee.’

Anna Funder is the author of Stasiland and All That I Am – both international bestsellers, published in over twenty-four countries – and the novella The Girl with the Dogs.
Stasiland, hailed as a ‘classic’, tells true stories of ordinary people who heroically resisted the communist dictatorship of East Germany, and of others who worked for the Stasi. In 2004 Stasiland won the UK’s premier award for non-fiction, the Samuel Johnson Prize, and was a finalist for many other awards.
Anna’s novel All That I Am is an homage to four German anti-Hitler activists living bravely but precariously in exile in London in the 1930s. All That I Am won many literary awards including Australia’s most prestigious, the Miles Franklin Prize, and was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. It spent over a year on the bestseller lists, was BBC Book of the Week and Book at Bedtime, and The Times Book of the Month.
Originally trained as an international human rights lawyer, Anna is a former DAAD Fellow in Berlin, Australia Council Fellow, and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. She lives in Sydney.

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