Quotes from Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

 How to select quotes from Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, when almost every sentence in the book is quotable? It’s a tough choice, indeed. The 1925 novel whose narrative is built on the inner consciousness of its characters, particularly Clarissa Dalloway, was groundbreaking in its time. Often called “a novel of one day,” it was almost universally praised for its innovative format. One 1925 review stated:

“Mrs. Woolf makes one aware of one’s own mental experiences in a way no other contemporary writer has ever achieved. Her characters appear upon the scenic screen of Clarissa Dalloway’s consciousness in proportion to her personal reaction to them; and then appear again in a swift soul-probing analysis as they really are. Read More→

The “Bachelor Girl” — a Poem by Effie Waller Smith

Effie Waller Smith

Born in the rural mountain community of Chloe Creek in Pike County, Kentucky, Effie Waller Smith (1879–1960) was the child of former slaves Sibbie Ratliff and Frank Waller, who ensured that their children were well educated.

She attended Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons, and from 1900 to 1902 she trained as a teacher, then taught for some years. Her verse appeared in local papers, and she published her first collection, Songs of the Months, in 1904. That same year she entered a marriage that did not last long, and she divorced her husband. Read More→

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein (1933)

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein (1933) is actually Stein’s autobiography, written as if in her longtime companion’s voice. Considered one of the most accessible of Stein’s experimental, often ponderous works, it was a commercial and critical success. It is indeed narrated as if Alice is doing the writing, and this comes through in a fresh and vibrant manner.

Some of Gertrude’s colleagues didn’t much care for the book. Some thought it too commercial, as indeed, the author admitted that she cranked it out in six weeks as a way to make money. Ernest Hemingway, to whom Gertrude was a mentor, called it “a damned pitiful book,” and her brother, Leo Stein, who disliked Alice, called it “a farrago of lies.” Read More→

Turning Twelve: Making Room to Grow in The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh

The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh

“What in the world has happened to Beth Ellen?” Harriet wonders, just a few pages from the end of Louise Fitzhugh’s classic 1964 novel, Harriet the Spy. Harriet is still eleven years old and she sometimes still calls her friend ‘Mouse,’ but Beth Ellen comes into her own as a character in the 1965 novel, The Long Secret.

The Toronto Public Library has eighty-two copies of Harriet the Spy (1964) but only six copies of what was billed as the “Further Adventures of Harriet the Spy” — The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh, which was published the following year, and only two copies of Sport (1979). Read More→

Playing Town: Revisiting Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy

Marcie McCauley reflects on revisiting Harriet the Spy, the 1964 classic by Louise Fitzhugh, and how the story continues to resonate and inspire her as a working writer.

See, first you take off your coat and hang it on the back of a library chair, use it to mark a comfortable seat as your place to return to with a stack of books. Then you fetch the ones you remember most fondly. You can’t have too many at one time or the librarians are annoyed. I usually have ten.*

This is how you play Library, based on Harriet’s technique for playing Town as she explains it to her friend, Sport. Read More→

Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Gloria E. Anzeldua

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa (September 26, 1942 – May 15, 2004) was a queer Chicana poet, feminist theorist, and writer. Her writing and poetry discuss the anger that stems from social and cultural marginalization. She herself experienced this growing up in the Mexican-Texas border as the daughter of a Spanish American and Native American.

Anzaldúa was born in Jesús María Ranch in Rio Grande Valley of South Texas as the oldest of four siblings. Throughout her childhood, her parents, Urbano Anzaldúa and Amalia Anzaldúa García, moved their family to various ranches working as migrant farmers. Read More→

Quotes from A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry (1930 – 1965) was an American playwright and author. Her best-known work, A Raisin in the Sun (1959), was the first play by an African-American woman to be staged on Broadway. And at the young age of 29, Hansberry became the youngest American and the first African-American playwright to win the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

The play details the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. It follows their struggles, their commitment to family, and their desire to overcome poverty while remaining a family unit. Here are quotes from Hansberry’s most famous work, A Raisin in the Sun: Read More→

Quotes from My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

My cousin rachel by Daphne du Maurier

My Cousin Rachel is a novel by British author Daphne du Maurier (1907 –  1989), first published in the U.K. in 1951 and in the U.S. in 1952. Echoing du Maurier’s 1938 masterwork Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel is a romantic thriller.It’s set primarily on a large estate in Cornwall, England, where du Maurier drew real-life inspiration. She saw a portrait of a woman named Rachel Carew at an estate, and the creative spark was lit. Read on for quotes from My Cousin Rachel, which will give you the flavor of this iconic novel.

Multiple television and film adaptations of this novel have been produced. My Cousin Rachel was adapted into a 1983 BBC miniseries, and as a 2011 radio play, also by the BBC. Most recently, a film adaptation was released in 2017 starring the aptly named Rachel Weisz in the title role. Read More→

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