Lyndall Gordon’s brilliant new interlinking biography OUTSIDERS: FIVE WOMEN WRITERS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is published in the UK by Virago in hardback and as an audiobook today, with the trade paperback out in South Africa and Australia soon too.
OUTSIDERS explores the moments of darkness that fuelled the creative genius of five literary women: Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf, all of whom stepped outside the bounds of propriety, challenging social norms and enduring scorn and rejection as a result. OUTSIDERS has already received positive reviews with Claire Lowdon commenting in The Times, that ‘the overlap and interplay between the generations is richly evoked’ and Tessa Hadley praising Lyndall in The Guardian as a ‘natural storyteller… with passionate intelligence.’
At Manchester Literature Festival on 16 October, Lyndall was in conversation with Libby Tempest at The Portico Library about her latest biography. Attending the event, Emma Yates Bradley of Northern Soul said ‘There was something restorative about listening to Gordon talk about these wonderful, smart, capable, literary women – these outsiders.’
Lyndall will be attending several literary festivals over the coming months to discuss the inter-connected biography and the women who shaped it. These include the Oxford Literature Festival on 24 March and Bath Festival on 12 and 13 May 2018. She will also be in South Africa in November this year.
Early next year, 3 February 2018, Lyndall will be focusing on one of these literary greats in her talk VIRGINIA WOOLF: ‘MADNESS’, WAR AND TRAUMA at Bethlem Museum of the Mind. To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Lyndall will also be reading from OUTSIDERS at the National Theatre. OUTSIDERS release coincides with a number of important centenaries for its subjects. Virago Podcast will be recording an episode with Lyndall, centring on Mary Shelley and the creation of FRANKENSTEIN.
Lyndall has written several acclaimed biographies, documenting the lives of notable female literary figures like Charlotte Brontë, Mary Wollstonecraft and Emily Dickinson, and related fascinating accounts from her own life in the memoirs DIVIDED LIVES and SHARED LIVES, all published by Virago. She has been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Comisso Prize in Italy for her Emily Dickinson biography, LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS, which has recently been republished by Fazi in a new edition. Spanish publisher Gatopardo recently acquired rights for her biography of Virginia Woolf, A WRITER’S LIFE. Her work has been sold in translation in Italy, Germany, Turkey, China and Spain.
Praise for Lyndall Gordon:
‘A biographer with soul, she reaches into the hearts of those she brings alive for us. She makes the meaning of their lives sing and sweat as she invites us into their experiences, their longings, their struggles and their disappointments.’ – Susie Orbach, The Observer
‘Gordon is one of the best biographers writing today.’ – Catherine Hollis, Sacramento Book Review
‘A gifted storyteller.’ – Carmela Ciuraru, Miami Herald