Anna North’s new novel, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, examines the impact of a tenacious but difficult young filmmaker through the narration of those who loved her. “I really just imagined her as a filmmaker from the very beginning,” North says of Sophie, a character she’d been thinking about for years before she sat down to write the novel. “I was interested in having her be someone whose art draws from life.” But what North didn’t want was to write about a writer, so she chose to explore an art form that was visual and documentarian.
In an interview with Flavorwire, North shared her recommendations for books and films about female artists that she loves, many of which informed her thinking as she created Sophie and her troubled, compelling world.
North watched this French movie starring Charlotte Gainsbourg in grad school. “I had a lot of time on my hands and only watched French movies, and after a while I was only watching Charlotte Gainsbourg movies,” she says. Starring Gainsbourg and her actual husband Yvan Attal as a married couple, the movie looks at gender and “his insecurities, being with some who is much more famous than he is.”