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Topic: Best Virginia Woolf book to read for a first timer

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Subject: Best Virginia Woolf book to read for a first timer
Date Posted: 7/24/2009 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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I haven't ever read anything by Virginia Woolf but really want to...any suggestions???

Thanks-Marissa

Date Posted: 7/24/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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What other books do you usually like?

Mrs. Dalloway is wonderful, really moving and lovely.  To the Lighthouse has some of the best writing I've ever encountered in my life, but it's not precisely what I would call quick moving.

Orlando was the first I ever read and I just loved it.  It's strange, and wonderful, and witty - I think I read it at the absolute perfect time in my life.  I thought it was so glamorous and special.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 4:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2009
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Ah yes, the poor woman who filled her coat pockets with stones and plunged herself into the river Ouse. I recommend her final novel titled "Between the Acts"

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Because of  Michael Cunningham's The Hours,  the VW novel I read first was Mrs. Dalloway.   And it explained an awful lot about a married Englishwoman's life in that era.  With the insights garnered from Mrs. Dalloway, added to my own recollections of the two other eras dealt with in The Hours, I could really "dig" Cunningham's three-part story about three women who weren't allowed to reach their full intellectual or creative capacity.

Later, I went on to read The Waves, and found it to be a very astute story, but (to me) a poignant one, about how early-life dreams don't reach fruition.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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And if you feel inspired, Hermione Lee's biography of Woolf is fantastic.

Subject: thanks
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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I really appreciate the recommendations...think I will read Mrs. Dalloway first!

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself."

Be prepared for some stream-of-consciousness writing similar to James Joyce. Some readers find Woolf tediously dull and rambly.

If you read Mrs. Dalloway, I highly recommend you read Michael Cunningham's The Hours which pays homage to Woolf and her writing style. I like it better than Dalloway.



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 10:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/6/2009 5:46 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2005
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You might want to start with one of her essays. A Room of One's Own is a great one to start with. It's short, yet so rich.

 

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
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Also, there is "Flush", the Elizabeth Barret Browning story told from the point of view of her little dog.  This is also a slim volumn.

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I wonder what she finally decided to read.

Date Posted: 8/26/2009 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
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I'm hoping it was "To the Lighthouse".  It's the only book I read in high school that I actually went out and bought.