Synopses & Reviews
The definitive biography of one of Americas greatest writers, from the author of the acclaimed masterpiece Virginia Woolf.
Born in 1862, Edith Wharton escaped the suffocating fate of the well-born female, traveled adventurously in Europe and eventually settled in France. After tentative beginnings, she developed a forceful literary professionalism and thrived in a luminous. Whartons life was fed by nonliterary enthusiasms as well: her fabled houses and gardens, her heroic relief efforts during the Great War, the culture of the Old World, which she never tired of absorbing. Yet intimacy eluded her.
With profound empathy and insight, Lee brilliantly interweaves Whartons life with the evolution of her writing, the full scope of which shows her to be far more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age. In its revelation of both the woman and the writer, Edith Wharton is a landmark biography.
"'Kate Reading's dulcet tones, buttery and tuneful, make her sound more like a Wharton character than an audiobook reader. As it turns out, this is a very good thing, for Reading (named a 'Voice of the Century' by AudioFile magazine) is exceptionally gifted when it comes to maintaining a uniform tone and holding on to listeners' attention. She confidently steers listeners through Lee's life of the great American writer and member of East Coast high society, which studies Wharton's personal and professional lives in thorough detail. Reading is subtle, choosing to modulate her voice, carefully restricting it to a pleasant middle register. Listening to her reading is like hearing a long but pleasant anecdote from a well-trained, masterful storyteller. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 29). (May)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Hermione Lee is the first woman Goldsmiths Professor of English Literature at Oxford University. Her books include a major biography of Virginia Woolf; studies of Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather and Philip Roth; and a collection of essays on life-writing, Virginia Woolfs Nose. Also a well-known critic, Lee served as the Chair of Judges for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2006. She lives in Oxford and Yorkshire.