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Virginia Woolf
HERMIONE LEE

Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee
9 reviews (1997) (944p)
New York Times® Best Nonfiction Books

Visit this book's Amazon.com page >>


Book Description
"A majestic literary biography, a truly new, surprisingly fresh portrait. --
Newsday

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
National Book Critics Circle Award finalist

"A biography wholly worthy of the brilliant woman it chronicles. . . . It rediscovers Virginia Woolf afresh."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer


While Virginia Woolf--one of our century's most brilliant and mercurial writers--has had no shortage of biographers, none has seemed as naturally suited to the task as Hermione Lee. Subscribing to Virginia Woolf's own belief in the fluidity and elusiveness of identity, Lee comes at her subject from a multitude of perspectives, producing a richly layered portrait of the writer and the woman that leaves all of her complexities and contradictions intact. Such issues as sexual abuse, mental illness, and suicide are brought into balance with the immensity of her literary achievement, her heroic commitment to her work, her generosity and wit, and her sanity and strength.

It is not often that biography offers the satisfactions of great fiction--but this is clearly what Hermione Lee has achieved. Accessible, intelligent, and deeply pleasurable to read, her Virginia Woolf will undoubtedly take its place as the standard biography for years to come.

"One of the most impressive biographies of the decade: moving, eloquent, powerful as both literary and social history."
--Financial Times

"The most distinguished study of Woolf yet." --The New Republic


Amazon.com Review
"Woolf's story is reformulated by each generation," writes Hermione Lee, a professor of English literature. But her richly human portrait, so respectful of the complexities of her subject's life, seems unlikely to be surpassed. Lee extricates Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) from clichés about madness and modernism to reveal a vigorous artist whose work is politically probing as well as psychologically delicate. She makes brilliant use of the formidable Woolf archives to let the writer speak directly to us, then comments shrewdly on her words' hidden significances. Biographies don't get much better than this.


Other Award Winning Books by Hermione Lee
Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
16 reviews (2007) (880p) (NBCCA Bio)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Hermione Lee Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 1 Edith Wharton ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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