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Wifedom
Wifedom: Mrs. Orwell's Invisible Life | Anna Funder
15 posts | 9 read | 15 to read
"A riveting work about the woman who sacrificed her future for one of the most famous writers of the twentieth century and a probing look at what it means to be a wife and a writer in the modern world. Looking for wonder and some reprieve from the everyday, award-winning writer 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 common sense 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 the Second World War 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. Genre-bending and utterly original, Wifedom is an ode to the unsung work of women everywhere today, while offering a breathtakingly intimate view of one of the most important literary marriages of the twentieth century. It is a book that speaks to our present moment as much as it illuminates the past"--
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review
CarolynM
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Bailedbailed

I‘m all for recognising the contributions made by people (usually women) around “geniuses” & I‘m happy to acknowledge that many “geniuses” are flawed human beings, but I can‘t get on with this book. I‘m irritated by the author stating her interpretations as fact, by her acceptance of some sources at face value while criticising other biographers for it & also by the way she imposes herself into the narrative. I‘m just irritated by it generally.

Jeg Sorry you didn‘t enjoy this book. It was my best read for last year. Goes to show we are all very different . What a wonderful world. Hope all is well in your world. ❤️. 4w
Ruthiella I‘ve heard that criticism from others as well. 4w
LeeRHarry That‘s disappointing - hopefully the next book you pick up is a better fit. 😊 4w
Freespirit Funny how something so popular can irritate you. I had the same problem with Tom Lake by Anne Patchett which is incredibly popular…I found it so slow and boring! 5d
66 likes4 comments
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abmaltly
Pickpick

Such a well researched and well written book. The minimization of women‘s lives not only by society in the 1930/40s but also subsequently by successive biographers is obvious and fury invoking.

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MeganAnn
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“I am part proud and part heartbroken, which may be the defining emotional condition of parenting young adults.”

Currently reading and this quote hit home for me as the mother of a 14-year-old.

“We watch as those who were our children come to see the world — from which we have spent over a decade and a half vainly sheltering them — for what it is. Including, of course, us.”

review
TrishB
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Pickpick

A real love/hate relationship with this. The first half is a mish- mash of stuff I just couldn‘t get into. I disliked the fictional bits, didn‘t think they added anything.
I did like the modern commentary and analysis of patriarchy and the Orwell‘s marriage. I wanted to hug Eileen and offer her support.
I think Orwell did some genius writing, but falls short of any respect as a man. Sadly, not uncommon with great writers.

LeahBergen The fictional bits would bother me, too. I prefer one or the other: fiction or biography. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
Tamra Too bad, I was slightly intrigued but not anymore. 4mo
TrishB @LeahBergen yes, that‘s why I didn‘t really enjoy the first half- then I decided to ignore those bits 🤷‍♀️ 4mo
TrishB @Tamra I‘d probably only recommend if Orwell obsessive! 4mo
84 likes4 comments
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JMPemberton
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Pickpick

There are so many sentences and paragraphs in this book that i want to remember forever that I‘ve given up jotting them down, instead I‘m ordering a copy of the book for myself. This is a wonderful feminist tale about the life of George Orwell‘s ‘invisible‘ wife and her huge influence on his work and about the invisibility of women, the erasure of women from history and of the lives of wives in this very patriarchal world. #biography #feminist

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TrishB
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Thank you for all your lovely wishes, cards and gifts, for those already received (and read!) too.
Litsy friends know you so well 😘

quietlycuriouskate Happy birthday, Trish! 🎂📚 4mo
julesG A wonderful stack! 4mo
kspenmoll Happy birthday! Wonderful gifts! 📚📚 4mo
See All 29 Comments
Caroline2 Happy birthday Trish. My presents are on their way…! 😁 🪽 📦 4mo
batsy Happy birthday, Trish! 🎂💙🎉 Some lovely reading material you have in store 😍 4mo
sarahbarnes Happy Birthday!! 🎉 4mo
TrishB @quietlycuriouskate thanks Kate and for the very interesting looking book 😘 4mo
TrishB @julesG it certainly is! 4mo
TrishB @kspenmoll thank you 😘 4mo
TrishB @Caroline2 thank you 😘 no worries! 4mo
TrishB @sarahbarnes thank you 😘 4mo
BarbaraBB Such a great stack! Enjoy! I hope you‘ll like the book 🩷 4mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB I nearly brought your one last week, but C said I couldn‘t as loads of people brought me books for my birthday and I should wait! She‘s very wise ❤️ can‘t wait to read it! 4mo
Deblovestoread Happy birthday! Looks like great reading ahead. Enjoy! 🎈📚🎂🎈 4mo
Hooked_on_books Happy Birthday! 🥳 4mo
LeahBergen What a stack! 👏👏 4mo
squirrelbrain Great stack! Hope you‘ve had a lovely day. 😘 4mo
MaureenMc Happy birthday! 🎈🥳 4mo
TrishB @Deblovestoread thank you 😘 4mo
TrishB @Hooked_on_books thank you 😘 4mo
TrishB @LeahBergen I‘m very lucky ♥️ 4mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain I have! Just back from the match which was great too! 4mo
TrishB @MaureenMc thank you 😘 4mo
Balibee146 Belated Happy Birthday 😘 4mo
TrishB @Balibee146 thank you 😘 4mo
Ruthiella Happy (belated) birthday! 🥳🥳🥳 4mo
TrishB @Ruthiella thank you 😘 4mo
TrishB @batsy thank you 😘 enjoying what to pick next! 4mo
CarolynM You‘re very welcome. Hope you enjoy🙂 4mo
69 likes29 comments
review
Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Excellent. A biography of George Orwell‘s wife Eileen that challenges our view of his treatment of her, the role of wives (or artists) in history and the form a biography can take. I love Funder‘s clean prose and her clarity of thought. She includes fictional vignettes that are imagined based on Eileen‘s letters & source documents. She explicitly brings it into the modern day with reflections on her own experience. Great for book clubs.

Simona I‘m starting book club in the January and the youngest participant is 16 years old … do you think that this book is enough interesting for young wandering brains? 5mo
Abailliekaras @Simona that‘s a great question. Yes in the sense that Funder‘s style is infuse so it‘s not dense. You will get more out of it if you‘ve read Orwell‘s work and/or have some experience of marriage (not as a wife but even seeing friends subsumed etc) but actually it would be great to have a 16 yr old perspective. Funder raises the issues with her own daughter with interesting results. 5mo
Abailliekaras Unfussy not infuse! 🙄 5mo
Simona She is familiar with his work, and she is also child of recently divorced parents … thank you, I think that will be our first pick. 5mo
26 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
Rissreads
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Pickpick

George Orwell the man, is a shit!
Eileen O‘Shaughnessy his wife has been erased from his history, as is so often the case.
I‘m filled with rage and sadness for her.
What a tremendous book. Anna Funder is a phenomenal writer! I also loved Stasiland and will search out everything else she has written.

Jeg This is my favourite book so far this year. What an eye opener. I love all her books. I was amazed at the research that went into this book. She is amazing. Have heard or seen her speak about this book? (edited) 6mo
Rissreads @Jeg no I haven‘t but I would love too! Maybe she will come to Perth for one of our festivals 🤞🏼 6mo
MrsMalaprop @Jeg She did a launch here at the UWA Club, but it sold out quickly. I heard her speak about it on Radio National. Thought I had a copy of All That I Am to loan @Rissreads but I can‘t seem to find it 🤔 6mo
38 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Monica5
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Panpan

Not a popular opinion, but I didn't care for this book. Seemed like a mish-mash of information to me🤷

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MrsMalaprop
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Pickpick

Yes! What a unique book. An exploration of the life of Orwell‘s wife Eileen O‘Shaughnessy who was instrumental in his work, but all but erased from it. A fascinating feminist biography. Moving, affecting and gripping.
I feel like I need to start a movement,
“Eileen O‘Shaughnessy: know her name!”
🔥💪🙏

TrishB This sounds fab- just pre-ordered, not out until next month here. 7mo
Cathythoughts Great review, stacked. 7mo
41 likes5 stack adds2 comments
review
Jeg
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Pickpick

Just finished in the early hours of the morning. Wow. So much research , so much insight. I got to know Anna as well as Eileen and George Orwell. The best book I‘ve read this year.
Stasiland prompted a visit to Berlin. This has me thinking of so many things.
I highly recommend this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 10/10.

LeeRHarry Immediately putting it on hold at my library ….sounds excellent! 😊 7mo
MrsMalaprop I am loving it too Joy & @LeeRHarry ♥️ 7mo
Jeg @MrsMalaprop I was just looking at the notes. So much research. I‘m going to have a close look at them. 7mo
Tamra Sounds great! 7mo
14 likes4 comments
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MrsMalaprop
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Holy moly. One chapter in & I‘m hooked @Jeg #currentlyreading

Ruthiella I liked Stasiland by her a lot . 👍 7mo
MrsMalaprop @Ruthiella I haven‘t read Stasiland, although I have it on my shelf because my husband read and loved it. All That I Am is 👌too. 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Nice setup 🌳 7mo
MrsMalaprop @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks we are holidaying in Margaret River in south Western Australia. Very green & wet & beautiful 🌳🌧️😍 7mo
39 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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Jeg
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There is so much in this book that " speaks" to me. I could be putting quotes on here every few minutes. This bit about double think shouts at me.

MrsMalaprop Almost bought this at the bookshop in Margaret River today. Will have to get it. 8mo
Jeg @MrsMalaprop I thought you might buy it when I saw you had been in the book shop. I'm finding it an excellent read. I'm making myself read it slowly so as to savour her great writing. 8mo
9 likes2 comments
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Jeg
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I am loving this book. I think I will be reading it all day.

MrsMalaprop Wow 😮. Might have to get hold of this one. 8mo
Jeg @MrsMalaprop I was just going to message you. I read this and thought of you. 8mo
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Jeg
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Arrived today. Can‘t wait to read it.

9 likes1 stack add