What Do I Read Next?
Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf's 1925 novel about a day in the life of the titular character, is not only a personality study, it is also a commentary on the ills and benefits society gleans from class. We spend a day with Clarissa as she interacts with servants, her children, her husband, and even an ex-lover, as she plans and executes one of her celebrated parties. Mrs. Dalloway shows the full emergence of Woolf's distinctive writing style that she would refine to greater heights in To the Lighthouse.
A Room of One's Own is Woolf's 1929 essay about the difficulties facing women authors. Woolf uses the constrained economic choices that women face to explain why "Shakespeare's sister" failed to write any plays, and to argue that creativity is dependent on independence.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce's 1916 novel about the development of Stephen Dedalus, is told in a ground-breaking stream-of-consciousness style. Reading this book along with To the Lighthouse provides a clearer picture of Woolf's important literary innovations.
E. M. Forster's 1924 A Passage to India is a major novel that addresses issues of nationality and empire. An intellectual peer and friend of Woolf, Forster writes in a style very different from hers, keeping to the realist/naturalist traditions of the English novel.
Michael Cunningham's 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Hours, is about Virginia Woolf. Cunningham tells the story of three women, including Woolf, as their lives are threaded together by the novel Mrs. Dalloway. One gray suburban London morning in 1923, Woolf awakens from a dream that will soon lead to her book. In the present, on a beautiful June day in Greenwich Village, fifty-two-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. In Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown, pregnant and unsettled, does her best to prepare for her husband's birthday, but can't seem to stop reading Woolf.
Portrait of a Marriage is Nigel Nicholson's 1973 account of the marriage of his parents, Harold Nicholson and Vita...
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