Norah Vincent biography

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Norah Vincent
Photo: Michele Asselin

Norah Vincent

Norah Vincent Biography

Norah Vincent is the New York Times bestselling author of Self-Made Man, as well as three other books, including Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf . Formerly an op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, she also contributed regularly to Salon, The Advocate, and The Village Voice. She died in July 2022.

Norah Vincent's website

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Interview

Norah Vincent discusses her first novel Adeline in which she explores the life of Virginia Woolf. Among the many topics discussed Vincent explains how in many ways this novel is a work of immersion journalism, like her two previous nonfiction works.

What was it about Virginia Woolf that compelled you to start writing Adeline?

I thought about writing this book about three years ago. At that time, I bought Hermione Lee's biography and read it. I bought and reread VW's major novels and her diaries. I had bought and read all five volumes of Leonard Woolf's autobiography ten years before, so I already had that in my mind and on the bookshelf.

But after doing all of this I found that the specter of VW was just too much for me. I thought what any normal person would think: Are you nuts? You can't write about VW, much less as her. Forget it.

So I did forget it, sort of, and I shelved the idea. But then, after going through a pretty awful depression in 2013, I came back to VW, for obvious reasons, I think. I really identified with her struggle with mental illness and creative self-confidence. Also, I had just gotten married, so I realized that I wanted to write a book about marriage.

I've always felt that Leonard Woolf has been poorly represented/poorly remembered by history, and that VW has in a sense been too revered. He was a much kinder person I think than most people know, and she could be quite nasty personally, and often was. In writing about them I wanted to present a ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Norah Vincent at BookBrowse
Adeline jacket Voluntary Madness jacket Self-Made Man jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Norah Vincent but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Cris Beam

    Cris Beam

    Cris Beam is the author of Transparent and has written for public radio's This American Life, as well as for several national magazines. She has an MFA in writing from Columbia and teaches creative writing at Columbia, NYU, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Self-Made Man

    Try:
    I Am J
    by Cris Beam

  • Kate Bolick

    Kate Bolick

    Kate Bolick is a contributing editor for The Atlantic, freelance writer for ELLE, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and host of "Touchstones at The Mount," an annual literary interview series. Previously, she ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Self-Made Man

    Try:
    Spinster
    by Kate Bolick

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