Who am I?
Why did Angela love this book?
Anna Funder’s prize-winning novels have centered on East Germany. So perhaps it’s not surprising that she has turned to the author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
But this marvelous biography is not about George Orwell; it’s about his wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy -- whom Orwell largely erased from his own writing. With just a few letters by Eileen, Funder has conducted copious research, producing a brilliant book mixing fact, fiction, history, and her own daily life.
It’s at once a meditation on how women are subordinated and wives exploited and the story of a fascinating woman. We learn about O’Shaughnessy’s overlooked influence on Orwell’s work and their milieu in England and Spain.
A word of warning: you may end up not liking Orwell quite as much as you did before.