Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Louisa Treger

Born in London, Louisa Treger began her career as a classical violinist. She studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher.

Treger subsequently turned to literature, gaining a First Class degree and a PhD in English at University College London, where she focused on early twentieth century women’s writing. Married with three children, she lives in London.

Treger's new book, her first novel, is The Lodger.

From the author's Q & A with Dorothy Reno at the Washington Independent Review of Books:

The heroine of your book is Dorothy Richardson, a real-life English writer from the first part of the 20th century. Can you summarize her most important work?

Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957) was a fascinating figure. In her lifetime, she was considered Virginia Woolf’s peer, and she forged a new style of fiction that became known as stream of consciousness. Her life was as interesting as her writing, for she was deeply unconventional in both. Due to her family’s financial difficulties, she was forced to find employment at the age of 17, working first as a governess and teacher, and later as a dental assistant in London. She attended a wide range of lectures and political and scientific meetings, and lived frugally so that she could afford concert tickets. She associated with political radicals, European exiles, and writers, including H.G. Wells, with whom she had an affair. Wells saw that she had talent and encouraged her to write. In 1917, she married the artist Alan Odle. Dorothy was initially hailed as a literary pioneer, but the early recognition and interest slid from her grasp, and she died in poverty and obscurity.

Dorothy’s life work was a 12-volume autobiographical novel-sequence called Pilgrimage, which focused on the inner development of its protagonist from the time she left home, aged 17, to the moment she became a writer. Dissatisfaction with the conventions of the realist novel — which she perceived as being explicitly masculine — led Dorothy to seek new narrative forms that would render the texture of consciousness as it recorded life’s impressions, life’s minute-to-minute quality. Virginia Woolf noted that Dorothy "has invented, or, if she has not invented, developed and applied to her own uses, a sentence which we might call the psychological sentence of the feminine gender."

In The Lodger, Dorothy has an affair with her best friend’s husband, author H.G. Wells. Do you think she’s ever able to forgive herself for perpetrating such a betrayal?

Dorothy is fully aware of the magnitude of her betrayal, though she...[read on]
Visit Louisa Treger's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Lodger.

My Book, The Movie: The Lodger.

Writers Read: Louisa Treger.

--Marshal Zeringue