Vanessa and Virginia (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151014743, 224pp.
Publication Date: May 14, 2009
June 2009 Indie Next List
— Roni K Devlin, Literary Life Bookstore & More, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI
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About the Author
SUSAN SELLERS is a professor of English at St. Andrews University in Scotland and coeditor of the Cambridge University Press edition of Virginia Woolf’s works. She is a past recipient of the Cannongate Prize for new writing and is the author of many short stories and nonfiction books, as well as the novel, Vanessa and Virginia.
Praise For Vanessa and Virginia…
Praise for VANESSA AND VIRGINIA:
"Sellers's impressionistic prose evokes the near-magical artistic world the two innovative women inhabited. She highlights the interplay of their creative thinking and ways in which they inspired each other... A thorough portait of the complicated dance of sisters."--More Magazine "Instant Classic"
"Sellers beautifully imagines what it must have meant to be a gifted artist yoked to a sister of dangerous, provocative genius."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A simple and yet magical tribute to a writer's life."--Seattle Times
"Vanessa and Virginia captures the sisters' seesaw dynamic as they vacillate between protecting and hurting each other, depending on who is up and who is down. For all their competition--each picturing the other as more content and successful--they are as intimately connected as twins. Through it all, work is their refuge--from their lives and themselves."--Christian Science Monitor
"Sellers’s elegant first novel imagines life in Britain’s Bloomsbury circle from the point of view of Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf’s older sister... The amazing aspect of this novel is its painterly quality. As Vanessa recalls her life, layer upon layer of memory is applied to create a portrait of color and shadow, a process that is mirrored in the narrator’s descriptions of her methods of painting...Highly recommended for collections of literary fiction-particularly where Woolf is popular."--Library Journal
"A delectable little book for anyone who ever admired the Bloomsbury group... a genuine treat for Bloomsbury fans."--Publishers Weekly
"[A] beautifully written exploration of tortured talent, sibling conflicts, domestic discord, disappointed love affairs, and emotional despair."--Booklist
"Virginia Woolf may have overshadowed her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, in popular cultural history, but Vanessa was a talented artist, wife, lover and mother in her own right... [Sellers] artfully presents Vanessa, not as a frame to further explore and enhance her more famous sister, but through a full and authentic portrait of a woman whose life has been shaped by tragedy as well as a creative freedom remarkable for her time."--Bookpage