Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Virginia Woolf Book Discussion

The library will host a discussion of Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf on Monday, December 12 at 7:00 PM. The event will be free and open to the public, and copies of the book are available to borrow in advance. This is the third and final event in our fall book discussion series, which has featured novels by British women.

Published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is one of Woolf's best-known novels. It explores British culture and society in the post-World War I era as it follows Clarissa Dalloway's travels about London on a day in June as she prepares for a party that she will give that evening. (The novel itself, and its effect on three women in different eras, play a central role in Michael Cunningham's contemporary novel The Hours.)

One of the most important writers of the Modernist movement, Woolf was a well-known literary figure during Britain's interwar period and one of the central members of a circle of writers, artists, and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. She is remembered for her novels, such as Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando, and for her book-length essay A Room of One's Own, a landmark of feminist writing. With her husband Leonard, she also established the Hogarth Press.

Like her fellow Modernist James Joyce, Woolf wrote a masterpiece set in a single city on a single day in June that nevertheless incorporates the history and social dynamics of its time and place. Her ability to refract an entire society through the consciousness of a single character is a remarkable achievement of empathy and creative imagination.

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