Praise for The Life and Death of Sophie Stark.


Winner, 2016 Lambda Literary Award, Bisexual Fiction

“Powerful…This provocative book by North, a staff editor at The New York Times, illustrates just how far an artist will go in pursuit of authentic expression…North’s prose is as skillful as her protagonist’s shot list. Filled with ‘the sad fumbling of human love,’ Sophie’s story examines the relationship between art and suffering.” The New York Times Book Review

“A fierce, page-turning, exposé of a would-be/could-be bright star. ‘Friends,’ former flames, and critics paint a portrait of an elusive cult filmmaker and the bridges she burned along the way.”  Marie Claire

“An elegant, intimate portrait of an exceptionally talented woman and her rise to fame….Bold and enthralling, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark speaks to the costs of creating art and the sacrifices we must make in pursuit of artistic integrity.” BuzzFeed

“North is a smart writer as well as a deeply humane one, and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a bold and graceful novel, executed with incredible artistry. The excellent writing aside, it's worth a read just to meet Sophie, an unforgettable character who can't quite manage to run away from herself.”

“As taut and artistically ambitious as its title character, North’s novel upends the trope of the lone, tortured genius, considering instead the deeply human consequences of one person’s uncompromising vision.” –Booklist

"North’s nuanced prose and emphasis on characterization result in a thoughtful, moving read that explores the creative process and its effects on relationships." –Publishers Weekly

“North’s engrossing second novel portrays with painful clarity the life of a flawed but highly talented artist. An essential choice for literary fiction readers.” Library Journal (starred review)

"It’s a welcome change to see a woman play the role of tortured artist and to hear instead from those who are left behind in her pursuit… [The Life and Death of Sophie Stark] unfolds with a surprising depth of feeling… 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 Reviews

"In the end, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is utterly captivating, surprising, and rewarding. You won’t forget about it (or her) for a long time.”

If it were possible for a book to read like butter, even though it’s a heavy subject, [The Life and Death of Sophie Stark] would be it. Sophie’s life is told with perfect flow changing from point-of-view between the various people she affected. From broken childhoods to broken adulthoods Sophie carries the burden of being misunderstood and unconnected, while somehow being gifted with the ability to create movies and see people’s vulnerable core. Quietly powerful, beautifully written, with characters you can see and feel.” BookRiot

Winner, Prix des lecteurs et des lycéens de Vincennes 2016 

Shortlisted, Prix Femina

Longlisted, Prix Médicis

“THIS YEAR'S BLOCKBUSTER. If the Girl on the Train was the woman of 2015, then Sophie Stark is this year's model... Out now – soon every girl on every train will be reading it.” Sunday Times

“This hotly tipped U.S. debut is tremendously good... A beautifully-told novel about a singular woman and the slippery power of art to simultaneously reveal and obscure a multiplicity of stories.” Daily Mail

“The world is crackling with electric praise for Anna North’s new novel.” Grazia

“The year’s must read.” Glamour UK

“Anna North's The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a captivating portrait of the artist as a young woman. It's a story that examines the notion of artistic legacy and meditates on the ethics involved in film-making and storytelling.” The Independent

“Told by different narrators, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is one of the big books of 2016.” Stylist

“Anna North has delivered a smart, sweet, sad and tender novel exploring the power of love and the nature of artistic vision and legacy.” —  Diva Magazine

“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.” —  The Pool

“Intoxicating…Full of beauty and menace…Storytelling in its purest form.” Le Monde

“Brilliant…An original and highly accomplished portrait of an artist.” Les Inrockuptibles

“Sophie Stark is a magnificent character…For her French-language debut, Anna North has created an original and powerful form of storytelling.” Elle

“North’s talent is versatile and assured. Her writing is pacey, funny and cruel.” Figaro Littéraire

“A fascinating puzzle where the reader has to put the pieces together.” Livres Hebdo

“Anna North’s talent lies in creating a character who should be unlikeable but for whom you care deeply, making this beautiful fictional biography a heartfelt meditation on the hazards of creation. Sophie Stark is dead, long live Anna North!” Figaro Magazine

“Hitchcockian…It plunges us into a captivating mind while asking to what extent can you sacrifice people in the name of art?” Voici

“Captivating… Kick off your autumn reading with a bang with Sophie Stark.”  20 Minutes

“Exceptionally well-structured... Sophie Stark is a completely addictive puzzle to be solved.”  Avantages

“A novel told at a breakneck pace which reinvents the myth of the tortured artist.”

La Gazette Nord-Pas de Calais

“Brilliant and original, the strength of this kaleidoscopic book lies in its heroine’s charisma, which is as troubling as it is magnetic.” Point de Vue

“A tour de force which makes us care about a heroine who people love to hate.” Tele 7

“Sophie Stark will fascinate you…A great novel, both in terms of its style and the remarkable depth of the characterisation. But the most remarkable thing about the book is North’s ability to surprise the reader.”  Page des Libraires

“Anna North has a vibrant talent…Remember her name – she has a very promising literary career ahead of her.” Sud Ouest


“Anna North asks what matters more, people or art, and doesn’t offer easy answers – that is the true strength of the novel.” Psychologies

“Extremely convincing.” L’Obs

“Devilishly good.” Lire

“Extremely affecting.” L’éveil Normand

“Dazzling.” Grazia

“Magnetic.” Le Parisien




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