Author(s): Anna North
Who is the real Sophie Stark? The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is the story of an enigmatic film director, told by the six people who loved her most. Brilliant, infuriating, all-seeing and unknowable, Sophie Stark makes films said to be 'more like life than life itself'. But her genius comes at a terrible cost: to her husband, to the brother she left behind, and to an actress who knows too much. With shades of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, A Visit from the Goon Squad and Where'd You Go, Bernadette, it combines a uniquely appealing sensibility with a compulsively page-turning plot.
Told from the perspective of six people whose lives were irrevocably shaped by Sophie Stark, the second novel from New York Times journalist Anna North is both a complex examination of the price of genius and an unputdownable page-turner. Jennifer Egan, look out. You have competition. Sam Baker, THE POOL I read THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK with my heart in my mouth. Not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story. -- Emma Donoghue Anna North is a natural, butter-smooth storyteller, and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an elegant, kaleidoscopic look at a challenging artist and at the way our lives are, in some respects, only silhouettes made from the perceptions of those who know us. -- Maggie Shipstead, author of SEATING ARRANGEMENTS North's writing is assured and engrossing... An engaging exploration of what it takes to make art and, more importantly, what it takes to love those who make it Kirkus Sophie Stark is a cleverly assembled work that examines the maniacal devotion it takes to create art. It's also a fun dive into the world of movie-making, and a character study that will move you to tears. HUFFINGTON POST As taut and artistically ambitious as its title character Booklist [North] has with The Life and Death of Sophie Stark created an emotionally layered and enjoyable novel which is both about 'the tortured artist' but also about loss and trauma and how we are shaped and affected by the presence in our lives of unique characters. Well worth a read. INFORMATION OVERLORD blog The life of a genius as told by the people who loved her most - and suffered most at her hands. Brilliant writing and a great story: highly recommended. THE BOOKBAG The ability to create a protagonist like Sophie Stark is no mean feat. There are moments in this novel where the prose is reminiscent of strong novelist voices, like Margaret Atwood or Kate Atkinson. The tone is dark, with little light breaking through, but it is a novel that should be read and savoured ... Highly recommended. BLEACH HOUSE LIBRARY It's a compelling narrative structure that will engross you and leave you wanting more, all while being a completely satisfying and delicious to read. HELLO GIGGLES This really was a glorious, glorious book ... Truly beautiful! THE BOOK GEEK This book is so good, it's a literary gem and a definite must read. LIBRARIAN LAVENDER The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an engrossing, haunting and highly recommended novel. I know this story will stay with me for a long time to come and Sophie Stark is someone who will go down as one of the most thought-provoking characters I think I've ever come across BOOKAHOLIC CONFESSIONS The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is one of my favourite books of the year so far. It's a well paced, quick read that completely held my attention and gave me plenty to think about long after I'd finished reading. I look forward to reading more from Anna North. ONE MORE PAGE 'A truly impressive and magnificently constructed story - Anna North knows how to weave words around the reader and bring them into the world that she has created. A book I shall return to again and again I'm sure, I really cannot recommend this highly enough. This is what storytelling is all about. LIZ LOVES BOOKS An unusual, thought-provoking and arresting book A LIFE IN BOOKS Jennifer Egan, eat your heart out -- Sam Baker
Anna North is a journalist working for the New York Times, whose writing has previously appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, The Paris Review, Jezebel, and BuzzFeed. She lives in Brooklyn.