Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday Reading Assignment: A Room of One's Own

I know it's a cliche, but I am afraid of Virginia Woolf.  Her fiction is so intimidating.  I don't think I've ever finished one of her novels.  Last year I read A Common Reader, which isn't exactly easy, but did introduce me to some fantastic books, including two unfinished novels by Jane Austen that I'd never heard of. (Lady Susan and The Watsons--my review here.)

So anyway, I tackled A Room of One's Own, which has been on my to-do list for over twenty years.  I suppose it's lucky I didn't read it when I was twenty, or I might have gotten some particularly poignant line from it tattooed somewhere onto my body.

What does a woman need to be a writer?  She needs money and a room of her own.  These are precisely the things that women lacked, all through history, hence the great silence of women in literature, up to the early 19th century.   It's not like I was unaware that women in history are all but invisible, but Woolf has such a way of putting it, particularly her description of Shakespeare's imaginary brilliant sister. 

This is definitely a book to read and re-read.


  1. I keep picking that one up and starting it and not finishing it. Maybe today I'll pick up and read it to the end.

  2. This is one of about a dozen books that I've read and re-read and re-read. She's brilliant. And wonderful. I adore this book, too.

  3. Woolf was a clever writer.

    I read a book that you might like My Struggle: Book One by Karl Knausgaard, here is a review of it:

  4. That's one I've always known I 'should' read, too, but I've thought of it as more exercise than I was willing to put in. You definitely tackle much meatier works than I have the courage for, but this one might not be over my head. Will add it back onto my list for the new year.

  5. Here is a confession: When I was in college, I was afraid to get a tattoo so I would write VW quotes on my arm and feet. Trust me, I know.

  6. I've never read this and quite honestly I'm not sure I want to.

    My recipe for writing would be sure to include copious amounts of Gin.

  7. Laoch, thanks for the recommendation. It looks interesting, although I'm a bit surprised at his choice of title.

    Jenny, it's only 114 pages, so not so meaty and the most readable Woolf book I've read so far.

    Mrs G--LOL!!

    TSB-I'm glad you're back in the blogging world.