Next Up: Mrs. Dalloway
On the surface, Mrs. Dalloway is a book that I’m not sure I will enjoy. A story about a day in the life of a woman hosting a party? Lord help me. Unless she’s hosting a Super Bowl party, this one doesn’t really seem up my alley.
I couldn’t have timed this worse. The NCAA tournament starts today, and I’m reading Mrs. Dalloway? Seriously? What was I thinking? Why couldn’t I have gone with Hemingway?
But, as I did with Gone With The Wind, I intend to put my biases aside, as best I can (I’m sure you’re buying that), and give this book a fair shot. After all, it is written by Virginia Woolf, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Mrs. Dalloway is her signature work.
Here are your quick facts about Book #13: Mrs. Dalloway:
- First published on May 14, 1925.
- The book largely inspired Michael Cunningham’s book, The Hours, and the movie of the same name, which starred Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf.
- In 2009, a first edition copy of Mrs. Dalloway (in a rare dust jacket) auctioned for $18,000.
- Woolf was a prolific writer. She wrote 9 novels and more than a dozen nonfiction books, including A Room of One’s Own.
- Woolf’s husband, Leonard, owned the publisher that released Mrs. Dalloway. And in 1919, he turned down the opportunity to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses because of obscenity laws in England.
- After suffering from years of severe depression, Woolf took her own life on March 28, 1941. As dramatized in the The Hours, she put on her overcoat, filled it with rocks, walked into the River Ouse, and drowned.
If you’ve read Mrs. Dalloway, tell me I’ll be okay. I am not looking forward to this.