In Outsiders, Lyndall Gordon tells the stories of five novelists — Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Virginia Woolf — and their famous novels.
The five writers are woven together in a narration across time, through their reading and sometimes as role models for one another.
As a biographer, Gordon has been a visionary herself, mind-reading her way into these figures’ creative processes.
Gordon’s passion for literature is evident on every page of her book.
The book is split into separate parts, each documenting the lives of the famous female writers.
It is clear throughout that Gordon is in awe of and intrigued by the ‘otherness’ of her subjects.
“This book really makes one think about just what it takes to be a true ‘reformer’ or for that matter a writer,” said a review published in goodreads.com.
“Gordon’s biographies have always shown the indelible connection between life and art: An intuitive, exciting and revealing approach that has been highly praised and much read and enjoyed,” it added.
Gordon (born Nov. 4, 1941) is a British-based writer and academic, known for her literary biographies. She is a senior research Fellow at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.