Electrifying… Daring in both form and content, Funder’s book is a nuanced, sophisticated literary achievement… A sharp, captivating look at a complicated relationship and a resurrection of a vital figure in Orwell’s life

*Starred* Kirkus Review



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.

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.

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

BBC4 Book of the week

Tune in August 14-18 to listen to the abridged book read in five episodes.

Dymocks, Non-Fiction Book of the Month July 2023

Watch out for the Sydney’s flagship store’s huge George Street window display devoted to WIFEDOM, and including a glorious, original 1930s typewriter (but no cigarette rolling machine, full ashtray or silver cat…)