Orlando: A Biography
DescriptionVirginia Woolf described "Orlando" as "an escapade, half-laughing, half-serious; with great splashes of exaggeration, " but many think Woolf's escapade is one of the most wickedly imaginative and sharply observed considerations of androgyny that this century will see.
Orlando is, in fact, a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, he is a young male aristocrat at the beginning of the story - and a modern woman four centuries later. The hero-heroine sees monarchs come and go, hobnobs with great literary figures, and slips in and out of each new fashion. Woolf presents a brilliant pageant of history, society, and literature as well as subtle appreciation of the interplay between endings and beginnings, past and present, male and female.
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About the Author
"As a work of political satire and feminist fantasy, Orlando laid the groundwork for today's cultural landscape, in which the boundaries of both gender and literary genre are more porous than ever . . . If published today, Orlando might have been misshelved not as biography but as fantasy or science fiction -- genres in which women writers in recent years have increasingly found the space to challenge the straight-white-male strictures of both realist fiction and reality itself. Orlando's blend of social critique and bold fantasy echoes in the postwar fiction of Ursula Le Guin and Angela Carter, and more recently in the fairy-tale retellings of Helen Oyeyemi and Daniel Mallory Ortberg -- as well as in novels like Melissa Broder's The Pisces." --Vulture, "Orlando is the Virginia Woolf Novel We Need Right Now" --