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Letters to Virginia Woolf Paperback – March 22, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0761832058 ISBN-10: 076183205X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Hamilton Books (March 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076183205X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761832058
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,081,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Featured in January 2006's Wisconsin Bookwatch>

Letters to Virginia Woolf takes a fresh look at the enduring impact of Woolf's legacy. This grippingly personal testimony of the value of female influence demonstrates the bonding power of women's creative imagination. Lisa Williams successfully demonstrates how to communicate across boundaries of difference and in the process helps to make Woolf accessible across cultures. (Tuzyline Jita Allan, English Department, Baruch College, City University of New York)

Pure poetry Letters to Virginia Woolf is a book not only of considerable significance—I am convinced Woolf herself would sit up and listen to it if she could. (Lisa Low, editor, Milton, The Metaphysicals and Romanticism)

Few write with more honesty and lyricism about tough issues than Lisa Williams in Letters to Virginia Woolf. Williams faces the complexity of adolescence, divorce, childbirth, death and war with heartfelt intelligence, reminding us that struggle and loss often lead to an appreciation of life's wonder. Like Woolf who grappled with 'The Angel in the House' almost a century ago, Williams continues to wrestle with the luminous presence of the past as she peels back 'layers of selves we outgrow but never discard.' Letters to Virginia Woolf guides us through this world of contradiction and offers hope for the dangerous time in which we live. (Chella Courington, author, Southern Girl Gone Wrong)

Every once in a while a book comes your way, almost as if from out of the ether, that moves you to such an extent it forces you, at all costs, to make other people read it too. Lisa Williams's Letters to Virginia Woolf seems to be one of those books. (Lee John Rourke, Managing Editor Scarecrow Reviews)

"(Letters)... additionally belongs to what one might call the literature of disaster, specifically the literature inspired by 9/11, including Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Ian McEwan's Saturday....Letters is ultimately a book about recovery and regeneration from pain, both personal and public." (Jeanne Dubino, www.womenwriters.net)

How I loved this book and wept. (Jane Marcus, CUNY Graduate Center and The City College of New York)

Williams knows how to write prose and does so with skillful precision. Whether eloquent, blunt, or a cunning combination of the two, she picks apart some of the most intriguing experiences she has faced and lays them down on paper for her readers without apology or personal bias. What makes the book work so well as a memoir is that Williams does not pretend to speak for all women, but still manages to write in a style that gives a universality to her experiences, thus creating a strong sense of kinship with female readers. (Angela B. Wade CALYX)

Williams emerges as a strong creative voice, tempting hubris on all levels, walking honestly through a shock of personal and global dimensions, and finally, standing with Virginia Woolf as a woman whose country is the whole world. (Suzanne Bellamy Lifewriting Annual)

For those readers who are more engaged with Woolf's internal life and a writer's creative process toward self-discovery, Letters to Virginia Woolf offers a potential touchstone. (June Elizabeth Dunn Woolf Studies Annual)

William's prose is eloquent and direct. (Journal Of The Association For Research On Mothering, May 2007)

Because the book is so accessible, it will help readers who are 'afraid of Virginia Woolf,' and will appeal to many women on many levels. It will not exclude male readership. This is a great service to all readers of Virginia Woolf. (Jane Lilienfeld, Professor of English, Lincoln University of Missouri)

Lisa Williams's use of Woolf's work is sensitive and apt, illuminating both the original quote and its relevance to our situation in the twenty-first century. (Sandra McDonald, BOOKWORLD.com)

Williams acknowledge[s] that life, often fragile and tenuous, is forever changed in ways that are beyond our control. And, in a series of moving, heart-felt and deeply personal letters to Virginia Woolf, she explores the notion of lost innocence, using Woolf's ideas about war, memory, and childhood as a catalyst...[What] really shines through [in] Williams's short book is her appreciation of life's wonder in all its complexity and fragility.*-Kim Bofo, Reading Matters* (Kim Bofo, ReadingMatters.com)

Featured in January 2006's Wisconsin Bookwatch

Told in six parts which leap off from 9/11 and incorporate Woolf's own thoughts and writing along the way, Williams delivers a heartfelt and elegant anti-war statement without stridency or self-righteousness. The effect is quiet and gradual and, in these unfortunate times, surprisingly salutary. (Mark Sarvas, "The Elegant Variation" blog)

About the Author

Lisa Williams is Professor of Literature, Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is the author of The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf (2000). Professor Williams holds a doctorate in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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Format: Paperback
Part literary criticism, part poetry, part memoir, Letters To Virginia Woolf is associate professor of literature Lisa Williams' deeply personal examination of Woolf's writings. Presented in the format of letters that Williams wrote to Woolf about modern issues and the September 11th attacks, Letters To Virginia Woolf tells of the sad end to the author's pregnancy, reflects on how Woolf's ideas of war, memory and childhood reverberate through time, and strive to know how Woolf herself must have felt. A handful of poems intersperse the brief text passages, adding their own poignant touch to the quest for understanding. Miscarriage: You must be / covered now / by moonlight, / and sleeping, / sleeping so peacefully / in starlight / sleeping / in a place where the dead / wait patiently / to become what is alive / once again.
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Format: Paperback
Few write with more honesty and lyricism about tough issues than Lisa Williams in _Letters to Virginia Woolf_. Williams faces the complexity of adolescence, divorce, childbirth, death and war with heartfelt intelligence, reminding us that struggle and loss often lead to an appreciation of life's wonder. Like Woolf who grappled with "the angel in the house" almost a century ago, Williams continues to wrestle with the luminous presence of the past as she peels back "layers of selves we outgrow but never discard." _Letters to Virginia Woolf_ guides us through this world of contradiction and offers hope for the dangerous time in which we live.

Chella Courington
Author of _Southern Girl Gone Wrong_
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By J.N.S. on June 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Lisa Williams is an eloquent writer whose writing style makes you want to finish the book in one sitting. I got caught up in the complicated mind of a teenager and I shared the anxiety of the same woman's desire to become a mother later in life. Ms. Williams' book is a collection of the character's life events that provoked me to reexamine my own life and emotions, especially post 9/11. It is creatively written as letters to the writer, Virginia Woolf. Even those whose are not very familiar with Woolf's work could enjoy Ms. Williams' writing. I would highly recommend this amazing piece of writing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Through letters to Virginia Woolf, whose work

she has specialized in over the last decade, Williams

discovers her own perspectives on 9/11, motherhood,

her parents' divorce, among other things. An

insightful book, where she explores the relevance of

Woolf's nonviolent philosophy, and in fact all her

beliefs, through her own life as a mother of a small

child. A very good, fast read--even if you don't know

Virginia Woolf from Tom Wolfe.
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