Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

Meryl Streep as Clarissa Vaughan in the 2002 film version of The Hours Published by Gale Cengage

Mrs. Dalloway

In the Woolf section of The Hours, Cunningham notes that Virginia considered London to be the...

(The entire section is 590 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

Literary Allusions

A literary allusion is a reference in one work to other works of literature. Cunningham's...

(The entire section is 278 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)


Bush, Trudy, Review of The Hours, in Christian Century, September 22-29, 1999, p. 886.


(The entire section is 179 words.)


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Bahr, David. “The Difference a Day Makes: After Hours with Michael Cunningham.” Poets and Writers 27, no. 4 (July/August, 1999): 18-23. Bahr discusses the response to Cunningham’s novel by the public as well as by scholars of Virginia Woolf.

Baker, Charles R. “Michael Cunningham.” In American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, edited by Jay Parini. New York: Scribner’s, 2006. This source presents readers with important biographical information on Cunningham and includes discussion of The Hours. See supplement 15.

Hughes, Mary Joe. “Michael Cunningham’s The Hours and Postmodern Artistic Re-Presentation.” Critique 45, no. 4 (Summer, 2004): 349-361. The journal article examines Cunningham’s retelling, or re-presentation, of an earlier postmodern novel for his own work The Hours. For advanced students.

Johnson, Sarah Anne. The Very Telling: Conversations with American Writers. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2006. Features a frank interview with Cunningham, who discusses the craft of writing and how he came to write many of his novels, including The Hours. Includes a bibliography.

Peregrin, Tony. “Michael Cunningham After Hours.” Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide 10, no. 2 (March/April, 2003): 30-31. Discusses The Hours, the screen adaptation of the novel, and Cunningham’s plans for future projects.

Schiff, James. “Rewriting Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway: Homage, Sexual Identity, and the Single-Day Novel by Cunningham, Lippincott, and Lanchester.” Critique 45, no. 4 (Summer, 2004): 363-382. A study of three novels, including Cunningham’s The Hours, which present variations on Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. For advanced students.

Young, Tory. Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours”: A Reader’s Guide. New York: Continuum, 2003. This accessible guide provides useful background information on Cunningham, the novel and its reception, and the film version of the work. Also includes questions for discussing the novel and a list for further reading.

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • Some critics have found Cunningham's portrayal of Virginia Woolf to be unnecessarily bleak. Read a biography of Woolf and write an essay...

(The entire section is 98 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Novels for Students)

  • A celebrated film version of The Hours was produced in 2002 by Miramax and Paramount, directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Meryl...

(The entire section is 27 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

  • Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway, published in 1925, addresses similar themes involving life, death, and creativity.
  • ...

(The entire section is 70 words.)