Every year on “a Wednesday in mid-June,” the Royal Society of Literature celebrates the work and legacy of Virginia Woolf. This year, Dalloway Day falls on Wednesday, June 17th (the day after Bloomsday, if you want to make a week out of it), and Lit Hub is proud to be part of the festivities, which include online panel discussions, a writing workshop, a book club, an aural walking tour and a BBC broadcast. You can see the full program here, but below are a few highlights, and if you’d like a handy list of all the books you’ll need from the authors involved with the festivities, you can find that here.
There We Stop; There We Stand: Exploring the black cultural history of London with S. I. Martin: an aural walking tour
”I love walking in London”, said Mrs Dalloway. “Really, it’s better than walking in the country.”‘
At 10am we will launch “There We Stop; There We Stand” with S. I. Martin—author, artist and founder 500 Years of Black London walks—on an aural tour of London, from the National Portrait Gallery to Tottenham Court Road, exploring the black cultural heritage of Clarissa Dalloway’s footsteps, and touching on the lives of those whose portraits hang in the NPG.
Literary Hub and RSL book club discussing Mrs. Dalloway (hosted by our Managing Editor, Emily Temple)
In The New Yorker this month, Mrs Dalloway is seen as ‘at least in part, a novel devoted to influenza’, it ‘puts Clarissa’s pleasure in traversing the city in a new light. So does reading it in the midst of our own pandemic, which has temporarily dissolved the busy urban scenes Woolf describes so lovingly throughout her book.’
Exploring solitude, PTSD, societal progress, and autonomy and freedom, Mrs Dalloway reflects much of many readers’ lives, and offers a lot for other readers to consider. For our first virtual Dalloway Day, we have joined up with Literary Hub, whose managing editor Emily Temple will host this Zoom-based book group.
The Pleasure of the Everyday – presented with Literary Hub, with authors Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Kate Young, chaired by Literary Hub’s Emily Temple
“Everything had come to a standstill” —Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Clarissa Dalloway spends a Wednesday in mid-June 1923 wandering through Bloomsbury, buying flowers, and preparing for a dinner party. To many of her contemporaries, this represented a freedom they could only hope for – due to inequalities of class, gender and race.
Join Literary Hub’s managing editor Emily Temple, with authors Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Kate Young, as they explores the quotidian pleasures we’ve developed appreciation for since lockdown, how literature can support us in these confusing times, and how this experience compares to Clarissa Dalloway’s own cerebral journey.
BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking: “Queer Bloomsbury,” with authors Paul Mendez and Francesca Wade, chaired by Shahidha Bari
“Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women.” —Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Almost the entire body of Virginia Woolf’s writing—her novels, essays and letters—have been interpreted from a variety of queer perspectives, and her work has inspired many modern interpretations across film, dance and theatre.
Joining BBC Radio 3 presenter Shahidha Bari, authors Paul Mendez and Francesca Wade will discuss and debate Woolf’s legacy for modern queer writing, as well as lesser-known queer histories of Bloomsbury.