Archive for May 10th, 2009

when i forgotSpeaking of books that mention Virginia Woolf, here is one I want to read: When I Forgot by Finnish journalist and filmmaker Elina Hirvonen.

At the beginning of the novel, the author places her main character, Anna, in a cafe where she is attempting to read Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.

In the novel, Anna experiences a long, reflective “moment in April” much like Clarissa Dalloway’s “moment of June,” according to the New York Times review. She wonders what the rocks looked like that Woolf used to fill her pockets before she walked into the River Ouse. She speculates about Woolf’s thoughts as she sank under the water. She wonders if Woolf had regrets.

In the process, Anna also recalls her introduction to Woolf via a seminar where her writing teacher talked about Woolf as “this dazzlingly intelligent woman who lived a hundred years ago and who wanted to capture even the tiniest movements of the mind.”

You can read an excerpt from When I Forgot here. It includes the section about Woolf.

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Vanessa and VirginiaKaren Long, book editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, says reading Vanessa & Virginia inspired her to pull out the dog-eared copy of To the Lighthouse she had read in her youth.

If you ask me, that’s reason enough to read Susan Sellers’ new novel based on the intimate relationship between Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. If the novel prompts a reader to reread Woolf, that is a very good thing.

Long has written a positive review of the book, which you can read here.

Sellers will be part of a plenary panel at Woolf and the City, the 19th International Conference on Virginia Woolf, and you can find out more about that here.

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