Literary Musings

Beyond the Legend: Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West’s Love Affair & Friendship

The relationship of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West has gone down in literary history, and even today it holds a fascination, epitomizing the allure of the unconventional, the bohemian, the slightly eccentric and exotic.

On December 15, 1922, Virginia Woolf recorded in her diary that she had met “the lovely aristocratic Sackville-West last night at Clive’s. Not much to my severer taste … all the supple ease of the aristocracy, but not the wit of the artist.” 

She was, of course, writing of Vita, the woman who would go on to become her lover, friend, and confidante. Read More→


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Celebrating the Centenary of The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie 

2020 marks one hundred years since Christie’s debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was first published. As the inaugural Hercule Poirot mystery, the story was serialized in The Times (London) weekly edition from February to June 1920 and later published as a complete novel in the U.S. in October, 1920.

The book was written as the result of a challenge between Agatha and her older sister, who bet that Agatha couldn’t write a detective novel. While she was working in a dispensary during World War I, Agatha came up with the idea for the story using her knowledge of poisons. Read More→


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10 Classic Cuban Women Authors to Discover

With its rich history, Cuban literature is considered among the most influential in the Spanish-speaking world, and women have long been an intrinsic part of its development. Here, we’ll take a look at ten inspirational classic Cuban women authors that deserve to be discovered and read. 

Cuban literature started its emergence at the start of the 19th century. Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, the earliest of the writers listed here, focused on abolitionist characters.

After the abolition of slavery in Cuba in 1886, the focus of Cuban literature shifted to themes of independence, freedom, social protest, and personal as well as universal issues.

Poetry was a widely practiced genre for Cuban women writers, and they also produced many short stories, essays, novels, autobiographies, ethnographical studies, and testimonial literature. Read More→


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Madeleine B. Stern’s Brilliant Analysis of Little Women

Louisa May Alcott: A Biography by Madeleine B. Stern (1999) is considered the definitive biography of the famous author of Little Women (1868). Presented here is Stern’s brilliant analysis of Little Women.

Tracing the life of Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888) the writer, Stern gives penetrating insight not only into Alcott’s life, but her very essence as a writer.

As a writer myself, I have found much wisdom in these pages and have marveled at Alcott’s ability to “simmer a story” in her head while fulfilling duties around the house, and then later sitting down to spill it out on paper to submit without editing.

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10 Fascinating Facts About Louisa May Alcott, Author of Little Women

Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888) may be best known as the author of Little Women and its sequels, but there was more to her than these genteel (yet gently subversive) domestic tales. The fascinating facts about Louisa May Alcott that follow might surprise those who don’t know a lot about the woman behind Little Women.

From her teen years on, Louisa was determined to make a living as a writer. She became the Alcott family’s primary breadwinner at a young age, mostly by writing and selling anonymous thrillers, or what she called “blood and thunder” tales.

And from there her writing life unfolded, often in unexpected ways. She was a complex woman whose views were reflected in her literary output.  Read More→


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