"This astonishing new book, by the brilliant Robin Black is an intimate meditation on reading and writing, aftermath and possibility, the tension between the never-stable, endlessly interpretable depths of a book and the fragility of life, the finality of death. I emerged from this breathtaking work with a transformed understanding of both Woolf's masterpiece and the stream of consciousness in which we swim, "together and alone."--Karen Russell
"Reading Robin Black's astute and enlightening meditation on Mrs. Dalloway is like eavesdropping on a mesmerizing literary conversation, but one in which the participants are not two readers but a reader and a masterpiece. Black threads the very moving story of her own evolution as a writer through the exquisite fabric of Woolf's great novel, and the result will fascinate everyone who cares about the craft of fiction."--Ann Packer
"I loved reading Robin Black's take on Mrs. Dalloway. She generously shares details of her own life that offer an example of how a great book stays with a person, and goes deep into the intricacies of important craft aspects of the text, illuminating its brilliance. It's a privilege to read alongside her."--Alice Elliot Dark
"Through Black's gorgeous blend of personal narrative and incisive close reading, Virginia Woolf's novel becomes again fresh and contemporary, while at the same time deeper in its mysteries. I finished this Bookmarked knowing more about myself as a woman, reader, and writer." --Pamela Erens
"At fifty-nine, I am now the age Virginia Woolf was when she took that final, heavy-pocketed walk into The River Ouse. I am the age at which she killed herself, and I am not going to kill myself; but I was by no means always sure of that."
Considered Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, Mrs. Dalloway tells the story of a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a high society woman in post World War I England. As she is preoccupied with the last-minute details of dinner party, Clarissa is flooded with remembrances of the past, in the process reexamining the choices she has made, as well as looking toward old age. Written in a stream of consciousness style, Mrs. Dalloway is one of the most important novels in literature.
In this deeply personal volume, Robin Black writes about Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, a book she returned to again and again when she began writing at nearly forty and found herself gaining a sense of emotional stability for the first time in her life. For two decades, Mrs. Dalloway has been Black's partner in a crucial, ongoing conversation about writing and about the emotional life. Now, Black takes a deep dive into both the craft of the book, what a writer might learn from its mechanics, and also into the humanity to be found on every page.