Strathern, Paul. Virginia Woolf in 90 minutes.

Author:Pucci, Anthony
Position::Young Adult Review - Book Review

STRATHERN, Paul. Virginia Woolf in 90 minutes. (Great Writers in 90 Minutes.) Ivan R. Dee. 124p. bibliog. index. c2005. 1-56663-650-7. $8.95. SA

Strathern captures the essence of Virginia Woolf in examining both the causes and effects of her "constant battle against mental illness" as well as her "lucid periods" during which she produced "some of the finest literary works of the early twentieth century." The major portion of the text is devoted to the life and works of Woolf. Given the limitations implicit in the brevity of this series, Strathern manages to convey essential information and astute analysis in readable prose. He discusses the Bloomsbury Group, "a privileged circle of upper-middle-class writers, artists, and philosophers," and the effect of their "progressive social attitudes" on the young Virginia Woolf. It is through the Bloomsbury Group that Virginia met Leonard Woolf, with whom she shared a sexless marriage. Strathern also discusses her love affair with Vita Sackville-West, for whom Woolf wrote the novel Orlando.

Strathern is equally adept at exploring the ways in which Woolf abandoned "the conventional form of the novel" in an attempt to express herself and her...

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