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The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell
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The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  5 reviews
"Beautiful, intelligent, and idealistic, Sonia was the model for Julia, heroine of Orwell's 1984. Her friends and admirers included W. H. Auden, Lucian Freud and Frances Bacon. She was Cyril Connolly's indispensable assistant at the influential literary magazine Horizon during the 1940s, and in the 1960s she co-edited the ground-breaking four-volume collection of Orwell's ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 5th 2004 by Counterpoint (first published January 1st 2002)
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I would actually give this 0 stars!!

What a poor excuse for a biography! I was interested in reading this to hear about George Orwell 's wife and her relationship with him.

The marriage was short since when Sonia married him he was already dying of tuberculosis -- but the author, who claims to have been a good friend of Sonia Orwell's (and might have known a lot of information) glosses over the marriagee in about half a page.

Similarly, the author points out that she wrote the book to defend Sonia
Stuart Hill
This wasn't a particularly satisfying read as it lacked a perspective which incorporated several potential explanations for events in favour of a single viewpoint, resulting in a rather simplistic narrative. The author did not support her claims with relevant supporting evidence. It is asserted for example that Sonia was the model for the character of Julia in 1984, but this was never stated by George Orwell himself and some aspects of Sonia's personality seemed to be in direct contradiction to ...more
This is one of the rare books that I simply could not finish. I did not enjoy the writing and found it to be very dry and I was not drawn to the subject. It frustrated me to read.
The Girl from the Fiction Department - Hilary Spurling
This book is only so so. Rather flat as biography.
Sonia's story is quite interesting and that's what carries it.
Megan Kelosiwang
I didn't enjoy the writing style of this biography but it was the story of a fascinating woman. It has left me wanting to know more about Sonia Orwell.
Maria Bianchi
Maria Bianchi marked it as to-read
Mar 25, 2015
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Hilary Spurling, CBE, FRSL (born 1940) is a British writer, known as a journalist and biographer. She won the Whitbread Prize for the second volume of her biography of Henri Matisse in January 2006. Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck in China was published in March 2010.
She is married to playwright John Spurling, and has three children (Amy, Nathaniel and Gilbert) and two grandchildren.
More about Hilary Spurling...
Pearl Buck in China: Journey to the Good Earth The Unknown Matisse, 1869-1908 Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954 La Grande Therese: The Greatest Scandal of the Century Invitation To the Dance: A Handbook to Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time

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