Daily Archives for: January 21st, 2015

Sapphira and the Slave Girl by Willa Cather (1940)

Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940) was Willa Cather’s last novel. It was the only book the Virginia-born author set in her home state.

An actual incident from her own family history provided the seed of the story, which concerns the troubled marriage of Henry and Sapphira Colbert, who own and operate a small farm and mill near Winchester, Virginia, before the years of the Civil War.

Sapphira, an unhappy and ill middle-aged woman, suspects that her husband is intimately involved with Nancy, a pretty young mixed-race slave of the household. Read More→

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Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Note (1941)

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) might have lived the ideal writing life were it not for her lifelong struggle with mental illness. But this wasn’t the only source of anguish.

Surrounded by brilliant intellectuals in the Bloomsbury circle, she was also nurtured and protected by her husband, Leonard Woolf.

Yet she was relentlessly self-critical, restless, and rarely satisfied with her literary efforts. Perhaps that was what drove her to greatness, on the other hand. Read More→

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