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August 08 , 2007

Virginia Woolf

A Portrait


Winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt award for biography, this remarkable portrait sheds new light on Virginia Woolf's relationships with her family and friends and how they shaped her work. Forrester's biography draws on revelations about the author that often remain buried and carefully applies them to a narrative of her development and influence.

Virginia Woolf: A Portrait blends recently unearthed documents, key primary sources, and personal interviews with Woolf's relatives and other acquaintances to render in unmatched detail the author's complicated relationship with her husband, Leonard; her father, Leslie Stephen; and her half-sister, Vanessa Bell. Forrester connects these figures to Woolf's mental breakdown while introducing the concept of "Virginia seule," or Virginia alone: an uncommon paragon of female strength and conviction. Forrester's biography inhabits her characters and vivifies their perspective, weaving a colorful, intense drama that forces readers to rethink their understanding of Woolf and her world.

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