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A Writer's Diary Paperback – March 31, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (March 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027915
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882–1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.

More About the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882-1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.

Customer Reviews

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I also enjoyed reading critiques of books that I've also read.
LMS
Wonderful to hear her thoughts as she sustained a long practice and prodigious production of both non-fiction and fiction work.
Making Art
This is an extraordinary Masterpiece in English Literature as well.
Katherine Graham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Stacey M Jones on May 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
A WRITER'S DIARY: BEING EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF VIRGINIA WOOLF Edited by Leonard Woolf was in a tradition I love, the practical and inspirational inner life of writers recorded in diaries or letters. Within pages of starting it, I was already back to regular journal writing myself. This volume includes entries from Monday, August 4, 1918, to Sunday, March 8, 1941, within four days of her suicide by drowning.

The real value of this book, I think, which was heavily edited by her husband to protect people still living, I'm told, is that it clearly spells out the troubles and mental burdens of the writer that she was. I loved reading about her processes in writing books of hers that I have read, ORLANDO, TO THE LIGHTHOUSE, MRS. DALLOWAY. (I forgot the affection I held for Mrs. Dalloway until I read about her writing it, and I just felt love for that book all over again.)

One can see the practical issues a writer faces, and I think this book performs the valuable service of illustrating that creative work is WORK, that it doesn't just rise from a magical well of talent and become complete -- voila! -- in the world. She frets about sales, about timing, about editing, about what her friends, Lytton Strachey, Morgan (E.M. Forster) and Tom (T.S. Eliot) will say. What the reviewers will understand of what she was trying to do, what her method should be, etc. It's a vivid account of the pain of creation. And she reminds herself each time a book comes out that she goes through these stages of happiness, dejection and waiting every time she publishes. When her book THREE GUINEAS came out, referring to the media response, she wrote from her home in the countryside, "It's true I have a sense of quiet and relief. But no wish to read reviews, or hear opinions...
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Graham on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the greatest books ever compiled/edited (here, by the brilliant Leonard Woolf-too often completely disregarded for his own unique editorial genius) after Virginia Woolf's most tragic suicide. What you will learn from this book is the spectacularly heroic efforts VW expended moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day, month to month, year to year, and decade to decade to prevail over those inner demons by utilizing her great gift of writing herself out. This is an extraordinary Masterpiece in English Literature as well. A must-have for anyone with even a scintilla of understanding about Bi-Polar Illness and Depression insofar as how torturously difficult it can be to simply carry on...let alone glitter like the Heavenly star VW surely was. Oh - and as long as her books are still in print, I don't see her as really "gone" at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Maclean on April 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Virginia Woolf is not only one of our greatest writers, but a writer's writer. And therefore, as a writer myself, having this book in my library is, I believe, essential. I couldn't put it down from the moment I began reading, and found myself transferring many passages of Ms. Woolf's Diary to my own Diary for future reference.
Sheri Nelson Maclean
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Making Art on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Virginia Woolf's "A Writer's Diary" along with Hermione Lee's biography of Virginia Woolf together greatly enriched my understanding of and appreciation for Virginia Woolf. Wonderful to hear her thoughts as she sustained a long practice and prodigious production of both non-fiction and fiction work. "A Writer's Diary" spans many years and clearly shows her powerful intellect and also what courage it takes to keep writing even in the midst of insecurity of the work being good or worthwhile. Well worth owning this book. It's a volume that I find myself returning to repeatedly.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LMS on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
After coming across of a mention of Virginia Woolf in another book. I decided to check out some of her writing at the local library. I came across this book and picked it up. I had heard of Virginia Woolf, but had never read any of other writing. I feel like I have much in common with Ms. Woolf. I too, have the heart of a writer. I know well what she means when she talks about books that scream to be written. I also enjoyed reading critiques of books that I've also read. I also found it fascinating to read about how she came with the idea for each of her books and the process of writing each one.

The fact that Ms. Woolf was bipolar is also clear in this book. There are times when she is almost frenzied with energy and passion, and other times, when she is so down in the dumps she can barely function. Even though, I am not bipolar, I know what a struggle it can be to live with depression and how much of an impact it can have on your writing and your ability to concentrate and write. That is something I struggle with myself.

I found this book to be a very enjoyable read. I definitely plan on checking to see if I can locate more of her books at the library.
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