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Mar 26, 2022
A Room of One's Own
Virginia WoolfSurprisingly, this long essay about society and art and sexism is one of Woolf's most accessible works. Woolf, a major modernist writer and critic, takes us on an erudite yet conversational—and completely entertaining—walk around the history of women in writing, smoothly comparing the architecture of sentences by the likes of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, all the while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day. When she concluded that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and a privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism.
The Common Reader: No. 1
Virginia Woolf
Genius and Ink: Virginia Woolf on How to Read
Virginia Woolf
Monday or Tuesday
Virginia WoolfWoolf's only collection of short fiction published during her lifetime, presented with pictures and a section on her life and works

"Doesn't one always think of the past, in a garden with men and women lying under the trees? Aren't they one's past, all that remains of it, those men and women, those ghosts lying under the trees . . . one’s happiness, one's reality?"

Originally hand-printed at her Hogarth Press in Richmond, Monday or Tuesday is the only collection of short stories that Virginia Woolf published during her lifetime, providing a fascinating insight into the early stages of development of themes that would blossom in her later masterpieces. From the impressionist description of four groups of people walking by a flowerbed in the botanic gardens at Kew to the soaring flight of a heron above the teeming life of towns and cities below, and the reveries of a woman as she looks at a mark on the wall, the eight pieces included in this volume showcase Woolf's inimitable observational powers and her boldly modern style of writing.
Mrs. Dalloway (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
Virginia WoolfAs Clarissa Dalloway walks through London on a fine June morning, a sky-writing plane captures her attention. Crowds stare upwards to decipher the message while the plane turns and loops, leaving off one letter, picking up another. Like the airplane's swooping path, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway follows Clarissa and those whose lives brush hers—from Peter Walsh, whom she spurned years ago, to her daughter Elizabeth, the girl's angry teacher, Doris Kilman, and war-shocked Septimus Warren Smith, who is sinking into madness.

As Mrs. Dalloway prepares for the party she is giving that evening, a series of events intrudes on her composure. Her husband is invited, without her, to lunch with Lady Bruton (who, Clarissa notes anxiously, gives the most amusing luncheons). Meanwhile, Peter Walsh appears, recently from India, to criticize and confide in her. His sudden arrival evokes memories of a distant past, the choices she made then, and her wistful friendship with Sally Seton.

Woolf then explores the relationships between women and men, and between women, as Clarissa muses, "It was something central which permeated; something warm which broke up surfaces and rippled the cold contact of man and woman, or of women together.... Her relation in the old days with Sally Seton. Had not that, after all, been love?" While Clarissa is transported to past afternoons with Sally, and as she sits mending her green dress, Warren Smith catapults desperately into his delusions. Although his troubles form a tangent to Clarissa's web, they undeniably touch it, and the strands connecting all these characters draw tighter as evening deepens. As she immerses us in each inner life, Virginia Woolf offers exquisite, painful images of the past bleeding into the present, of desire overwhelmed by society's demands. —Joannie Kervran Stangeland
The Voyage Out
Virginia Woolf
The Waves
Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
VIRGINIA WOOLF(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Though its fame as an icon of twentieth-century literature rests primarily on the brilliance of its narrative technique and the impressionistic beauty of its prose, To the Lighthouse is above all the story of a quest, and as such it possesses a brave and magical universality.

Observed across the years at their vacation house facing the gales of the North Atlantic, Mrs. Ramsay and her family seek to recapture meaning from the flux of things and the passage of time. Though it is the death of Mrs. Ramsay on which the novel turns, her presence pervades every page in a poetic evocation of loss and memory that is also a celebration of domestic life and its most intimate details. Virginia Woolf’s great book enacts a powerful allegory of the creative consciousness and its momentary triumphs over fleeting material life.