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Remembering Virginia Woolf

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

voyageoutBorn into a privileged English household on Januray 25, 1882, writer Virginia Woolf was raised by literary and free-thinking parents. She began writing as a young girl and published her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1915. Her nonlinear, free form prose style established her as a modernist and innovator. After she married writer Leonard Woolf in 1912,  the couple became part of an avant-garde  literary and artistic circle known as the Bloomsbury Group, which became influential in the arts of the early 20th century. Woolf's best known books are the novels, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and Orlando. Her famous book length essay, A Room of One's Own, included the much-quoted observation about the freedom needed to write successfully. Woolf suffered from bouts of depression throughout her life and committed suicide in 1941 at the age of 59 by walking into a river near her country home. Her body was not found for several weeks.

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 Michael Cunningham's 1998 book, The Hours, imagined the lives of several women influenced by reading Mrs. Dalloway and depicted aspects of Woolf's life. It was adapted as a movie in 2002 starring Nicole Kidman as Woolf. Kidman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for that role.