Virginia Woolf's fantastical novel about an Elizabethan nobleman who lives for three centuries and transitions into a woman, with a new introduction by Carmen Maria Machado.
The long-lived protagonist of Orlando begins as a passionate teenage aristocrat, whose days are spent in rowdy revelry at the colorful Tudor court of Queen Elizabeth and his nights in writing earnest poetry. A favorite of the elderly queen, he falls in love with and is jilted by a wayward Russian princess. Two kings later, now in his thirties, Orlando is sent to serve as ambassador to Constantinople, where he awakens one day to find himself in the body of a woman. The Lady Orlando takes this circumstance in stride. She returns to England, engages in love affairs with both men and women, consorts with the famous poets of each age, finds happiness with a gender-nonconforming husband, and at last achieves publication of her own epic poem in the year 1928. A playful and exuberant romp through history, Orlando is Woolf’s most lighthearted and unusual novel. VINTAGE CLASSICS.
About the Author
VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882-1941) was born in London. A pioneer in the narrative use of stream of consciousness, she published her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1915. This was followed by literary criticism and essays, most notably A Room of One’s Own, and other acclaimed novels, including Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando.
About the Introducer: CARMEN MARIA MACHADO is a short story author, essayist, and critic best known for her story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, aand a memoir, In the Dream House, which won the 2021 Folio Prize. Machado is frequently published in The New Yorker, NPR, Granta, and elsewhere, and she has been a finalist for the Nebula Award and the National Book Award.