Posts Tagged ‘Louise DeSalvo’

A Sept. 22 Zoom event featuring a roundtable of Woolf scholars, colleagues, and friends will be held to celebrate the life and work of Louise DeSalvo.

Louise DeSalvo

Sponsored by the International Virginia Woolf Society near what would have been DeSalvo’s 81st birthday on Sept.27, the Sept. 22 event will be the third in a series of birthday celebrations and commemorations, which began in 2021.

More about the event

Time: 3 –4:30 p.m. EDT (New York); Noon –1:30 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles); 8–9:30 p.m. BST (London)

The event will run like a conference roundtable. Each presenter will speak for about 5–7 minutes. Those who knew DeSalvo might share memories of their interactions with her. Those who knew her primarily through her writing will share thoughts and reflections on her impact on Woolf studies—and beyond.

After each participant speaks, the session will open to a general Q&A and discussion with all attendees. Everyone attending will be free to ask questions or to share memories or reflections of their own.

This roundtable aims to give attendees a fresh and full sense of DeSalvo’s contributions to Woolf studies as well as a sense of her impact and legacy (personal and professional) on this field and on all those committed to the literary arts.

How to join

IVWS members will be sent a Zoom link via email ahead of the event. If you are not a member of the society, you may join. Or you may reach out to Benjamin Hagen, president of the society, at benjamin.hagen@usd.edu, to express interest in the event, and you will receive the Zoom link.

About Louise DeSalvo

DeSalvo was professor of English and creative writing at Hunter College. She was the author of a number of books—Vertigo: A Memoir (1997), Breathless: An Asthma Journal (1997), Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives (2000), Crazy in the Kitchen: Food, Feuds and Forgiveness in an Italian American Family (2005), Chasing Ghosts: A Memoir of a Father, Gone to War (2015), and more.

But to many Woolfians, according to a post on the society blog, she is best known for her 1989 biography Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work as well as Virginia Woolf’s First Voyage: A Novel in the Making (1980), editions of Melymbrosia, and The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (with Mitchell Leaska).

Previous event on YouTube

You can watch the first event on YouTube. It was presented by the New Jersey City University Center for the Arts and was hosted by Edvige Giunta and Donia Ayoub.


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I have one foot in each of two literary worlds–Virginia Woolf and creative nonfiction–and am always pleased when I find crossover between the two, as in this remembrance of Louise DeSalvo in Brevity: “Losing Louise, Finding Joy: The Death of a Mentor and the Afterlife of Her Legacy.”

She died Oct. 31, 2018, in Montclair, N.J., at the age of 76.


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Here are some books to add to your list for either giving or receiving this holiday season:

  • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, Ballantine, 2015, $26. A novel Vanessa & Her Sisterfeaturing intimate glimpses into the lives of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, as well as other writers and artists in the Bloomsbury Group. Stay tuned for Blogging Woolf’s review.
  • The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel, Writer’s Design, 2015, $8.96. A novel that brings Judith, Woolf’s imagined sister of William Shakespeare, to life. Stay tuned for Blogging Woolf’s review.
  • 9780500517307_26521The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art, by Jans Ondaatje Rolls, Thames & Hudson, 2014, $39.95. An extensive compilation of recipes and social history of the Bloomsbury Group that includes artwork, quotes, letters and personal reminiscences.
  • Mrs. Dalloway, edited by Anne Fernald, 2014, $150. Part of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf. This labor of love provides aMrs. Dalloway Fernald substantial introduction, including the composition history of the novel, documenting how Woolf’s reading, writing, personal life and the world around her contributed to the book. Explanatory notes compile decades of scholarship while identifying numerous new allusions to Homer, Shakespeare, Tennyson and others.
  • Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Personal EffectsLouise DeSalvo, edited by Nancy Caronia and Edvige Giunta. Fordham University Press, 2014, $29.99. Examines Woolf scholar DeSalvo’s memoirs as works that push the boundaries of the most controversial genre of the past few decades.
  • Labors of Modernism: Domesticity, Servants, and Authorship in Modernist Fiction, by Mary Wilson. Ashgate, 2013, $104.95. Wilson analyzes the unrecognized role of domestic servants in the experimental forms and narratives of Modernist fiction by Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Nella Larsen, and Jean Rhys.
  • Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, edited by Beth Rigel Daugherty and Mary Beth Pringle, MLA, 2001, $19.75. From the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
  • Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, edited by Eileen Barrett and Ruth O. Saxton, MLA, 2009, $19.75. From the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
  • For a catalog of rare books related to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, contact Jon S. Richardson Rare Books at yorkharborbooks@aol.com. Richardson founders Jon and Margaret Richardson have made hunting down the works of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group their mission since opening York Harbor Books more than 20 years ago. Among other interesting offerings, including Hogarth Press advertising flyers, the Holiday 2014 list includes:
    • A first American edition (1931) of Mrs. Dalloway with the Vanessa Bell dust jacket, $950.
    • A first edition of The Common Reader (1925), published by the Hogarth Press, $585
    • A 1910 edition of the Life & Letters of Leslie Stephen, which includes Woolf’s first appearance in print, $95.

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on-movingDoes moving drive one mad?

The last time, I changed residences — 15 years ago — I felt utterly exhausted by the end of moving day, but I did not feel mad.

However, on that stifling hot and humid day in June, my two teenage sons probably thought I was. That is because I informed them that the next time I moved, it would be into a nursing home — and the two of them would have to do all of my packing and hauling themselves. 

A new book by Louise DeSalvo, On Moving: A Writer’s Meditation on New Houses, Old Haunts, and Finding Home Again explores the “troubled homemaking histories” of famous writers. It posits that for some, “moving can be paired with madness,” according to a review in the New York Times.

Check out the book and see whether you agree with DeSalvo’s theories about Woolf’s moves. You can read the first chapter here.

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