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 has also contributed regularly to Salon, The Advocate, and The Village Voice. She lives in New York City.
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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...
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