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Mon, 10 July


Better Read Than Dead

Wifedom: Anna Funder in-conversation

Join us with Anna Funder to celebrate the release of Wifedom. Anna will be joined by Laurel Henning.

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Wifedom: Anna Funder in-conversation
Wifedom: Anna Funder in-conversation

Time & Location

10 July 2023, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia


About The Event

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.

Anna Funder is the author of Stasiland and All That I Am - both international bestsellers, published in more than twenty-four countries - and the novella The Girl with the Dogs

Stasiland, hailed as a ‘classic’, tells true stories of ordinary people who heroically resisted the communist dictatorship of East Germany, and of others who worked for the Stasi. In 2004, Stasiland won the UK’s premier award for non-fiction, the Samuel Johnson Prize and was a finalist for many other awards. Anna’s novel All That I Am is an homage to four German anti-Hitler activists living bravely but precariously in exile in London in the 1930s. All That I Am won many literary awards including Australia’s most prestigious, the Miles Franklin Prize, and was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. It spent over a year on the bestseller lists, was BBC Book of the Week and Book at Bedtime, and The Times Book of the Month. 

Originally trained as an international human rights lawyer, Anna is a former DAAD Fellow in Berlin, Australia Council Fellow, and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. She lives in Sydney.

Laurel Henning has been working as a journalist reporting on regulatory affairs for the past decade. When she’s not buried in legalese, Laurel professes to have made all her closest friends since moving to Australia at Better Read Than Dead Bookclubs… namely, Better Reader and the Bad Women Bookclub. Making friends in your 30s when living overseas can be tough, which is why Laurel started the Threewheeling podcast with her friend Sascha, to discuss making friends and recent cultural delights. You can find Laurel on bookstagram @withmybooks


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