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Wifedom : Mrs Orwell's Invisible Life - Anna Funder


Mrs Orwell's Invisible Life

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Eileen Orwell is a woman elided from history. The first of George Orwell's wives, her existence has been ignored by all of his six â" male â" biographers. It's hard for history to find you when you have been written out of the narrative. But if you read like a woman, you see other things. In researching a new book on Orwell, Anna Funder unearthed the existence of a person whose discomforting and humiliating work to create the conditions that allowed Orwell to write had been erased. It is as if, half a century after his death, a screen concealing Orwell's private life has been rolled up, revealing the woman who lived behind it.

Eileen's story, gleaned from the minimising losses of Orwell's biographers, holds staggering parallels with the lives of working women now, all these decades later. Wifedom is a revelatory, genre-bending audiobook that speaks to the unsung work of women today, creating the conditions of artistic production for men while suppressing their own genius, all of which is considered as natural â" and as little in need of acknowledgement or thanks â" as breathing.
Industry Reviews
'Simply, a masterpiece. Here, Anna Funder not only re-makes the art of biography, she resurrects a woman in full.' -- Geraldine Brooks, bestselling author
'Meticulous and compassionate ... a heroic act of listening.' (on Stasiland) -- London Review of Books
'Rigorously researched, tenderly told.' (on Stasiland) -- The Independent
'A sharp, captivating look at a complicated relationship and a resurrection of a vital figure in Orwell's life.' -- Kirkus Reviews
'Full of keen psychological insight and eloquent prose, this shines.' -- Publishers Weekly
'One of the most startling explorations of life-writing (Eileen's, Orwell's and Funder's) in recent times . . . Wifedom is a genre-bending tour-de-force that resurrects an invisible woman . . . after Funder, we will never look at this writer or his work in the same way again. Nor should we.' -- The Independent
'A virtuoso performance on the theme, adding personal memoir, some fictional reconstructions and a glittering sense of purpose.' -- The New York Times

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