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Outsiders Together: Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Paperback – October 14, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 14, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691089604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691089607
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,295,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"For all its theoretical knowingness, Outsiders Together is a rather old-fashioned celebration of a long, intimate heterosexual relationship. . . . The strength of Outsiders Together is that it moves beyond the working and emotional relationship of Leonard and Virginia to subtly address larger issues--such as Leonard's Jewishness and Virginia's politics--which have hitherto been treated rather crudely."--Bryan Cheyette, Times Literary Supplement

"Rosenfeld's study is broad in scope, covering most of the lives of and the major works of both writers, while dwelling long enough on the writing to provide several illuminating cross-readings of texts. . . . Clearly and elegantly written, Outsiders Together makes a very persuasive case."--Jessica Berman, Virginia Woolf Miscellany

From the Inside Flap

"Natania Rosenfeld has written an extraordinarily full, witty, politically responsible, and flexible account of the lives and writings of two people, emphasizing not only their separateness but also their extended dialogue with one another. In a sense, this is a double critical biography that is inflected with psychology and history. The book is also valuable for its range of reference, concentrating on Virginia Woolfs most famous books and supplementing the analysis with passages from diaries, letters, autobiographies, reviews, essays, lectures, and short stories. Ultimately, this contribution constitutes a compelling reassessment of Woolfs relation to her society."--Vicki Mahaffey, University of Pennsylvania

"Outsiders Together is the most comprehensive work to date-and the fairest, most informed-on the interconnections between husband and wife, fiction and ideologies. It is long overdue. Not only is the book a timely corrective to prejudicial and reductionist readings of the Woolfs subtly and mutually fulfilling relationship, but it is also a recuperation of Leonards contributions to political thought and modern literature, and of Virginias own evolution as a cultural subversive. What is particularly admirable about this book is its massive network of interconnecting historical facts, modern and postmodern theory, and clever, keen literary insights."--Thomas C. Caramagno, University of Nebraska

"Outsiders Together is the most comprehensive work to date--and the fairest, most informed--on the interconnections between husband and wife, fiction and ideologies. It is long overdue."--Thomas C. Caramagno, University of Nebraska

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hermenaut on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
The earlier review complains that the author uses too many big words. But this is an intellectual biography of Virginia Woolf (which focuses on her relationship with her husband). Ummm.... Let me repeat: Virginia Woolf. Has the reviewer actually read anything by Virginia Woolf? Because her prose is not of the Mary Higgins Clark sort--or even Thomas Cahill, if you want a non-fiction author. It's rich, complex, allusive, layered, appealing, difficult, and generally not for someone who wants to read *Hop on Pop* or what have you. So it seems unjust to expect a biography of Woolf to be simplistic or written to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

I actually found this book quite intriguing; very basically it examines the ways in which Virgina, while belonging to the elites of her day both on account of birth and intelligence, nevertheless shared with her husband Leonard, who was Jewish, a profound sense of alienation because she was a woman who struggled with emotional illness and could not participate fully in life. It weaves together the stories of their lives as individuals and as a couple, and I learned a great deal about the time period and about Virginia and Leonard Woolf. It's a sensitive, well-researched, and fascinating book. If you have any interest in Virginia Woolf, I highly recommend it. And yes, it's pitched a bit above the average. If that bothers you or puts you off, then go read something more appropriate for your abilities.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By exlibrarian on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have no qualifications to write reviews other than an MLS in library science and I am an eclectic reader entirely of nonfiction with only a few exceptions. Because I read all kinds of things, I am fairly tolerant of style, but I must offer a warning to any potential buyer of this book on the basis of writing style. I'm sure there is excellent scholarship here as you would expect since the author is a college teacher. However, in the first paragraph of the book are found the following words/phrases: tropes ... microcosmic forms of colonization, tyranny or warmongering ... inbuilt hierarchy ... learning toward the metaphor ... traditionally conceived actuality ... etc. Now this style is a shame because the title sounded like just what I was looking for and the two people who are the subject of the book surely should make an interesting study. But with a writing style like this, I can't imagine anyone but scholars would want to slog through the jargon in order to arrive at the content. Sorry to be so critical, but I wanted a study of the people and I didn't find it.
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