ANU/Canberra Times. Meet the Author. Anna Funder
Anna Funder will be in conversation with the Virginia Haussegger on her new book, Wifedom. Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life, 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. As Anna Funder peeks behind the curtain of Orwell’s private life she is led to question what it takes to be a writer-and what it is to be a wife.
“Simply, a masterpiece. Here, Anna Funder not only re-makes the art of biography, she resurrects a woman in full. And this in a narrative that grips the reader and unfolds through some of the most consequential moments – historical and cultural – of the twentieth century”. Geraldine Brooks
“A truly wonderful biography. . . Anna Funder has written another brilliant human portrait.” -Claire Tomalin
Anna Funder is the author of Stasiland and All That I Am – both international bestsellers, published in more than 24 countries – and the novella The Girl with the Dogs .Her books have won multiple literary awards, including the UK’s premier award for non-fiction, the Samuel Johnson Prize, for Stasiland, and Australia’s most prestigious, the Miles Franklin, for her novel All That I Am.
Virginia Haussegger AM, is the former Chair and Founding Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra, where she is an Adjunct Professor. In 2019 Virginia was named ACT Australian of The Year, in recognition of her community leadership and women’s rights advocacy. In 2014 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the media and gender equity.
The vote of thanks will be given by Sally Pryor, Features Editor of the Canberra Times.
This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event.
Registration is required for this event.
Accessible parking spaces are available around campus should you require them.
To help keep everyone safe, please ensure that you are familiar with, and follow, the advice from ACT Health regarding COVID-19.
If you do not feel well, please refrain from attending this event.
A podcast will be made available after the event.
Symposium by University House Wine bar (Shop 13, 152 University Avenue, Acton, which is just next to the Kambri cultural centre) will now be open for dining after meet the author events. Food and wine details at https://unihouse.anu.edu.au/eat/symposium/. No bookings necessary.
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