Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)

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Mrs. Dalloway By Virginia Woolf Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Quietly queer and erotic in a very early-1900’s way, the beauty of this classic novel lies in its deep care for all of life’s moments, whether dramatic or (seemingly) mundane. As we immerse ourselves in Clarissa Dalloway’s internal dialogue, she confronts love, repression, and suicide in terms somehow both bracing and delicate. This book makes me sad, but it makes me feel held, too, and less alone. Woolf’s most famous work is not only emotionally and existentially substantial - the prose is also the most beautiful that I have read. Pablo Picasso once wrote that an artist must find the meaning in “the sky, the earth, a scrap of paper, a passing shape”; in this chronicle of Mrs. Dalloway’s June day, the reader will find transcendence in events as large as a plunge from the rooftop, or as small as a trip to the flower shop.

— From Kat's Picks


The authorized, original edition of Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece and one of the most “moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century” (Michael Cunningham), with a foreword by Maureen Howard.

In this vivid portrait of a single day in a woman’s life, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of preparation for a party while in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house for friends and neighbors, she is flooded with remembrances of the past—the passionate loves of her carefree youth, her practical choice of husband, and the approach and retreat of war. And, met with the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.

From the introspective Clarissa, to the lover who never fully recovered from her rejection, to a war-ravaged stranger in the park, the characters and scope of Mrs. Dalloway reshape our sense of ordinary life and reshaped English literature as we know it. 

“Perhaps her masterpiece…Exquisite and superbly constructed…Required like most writers to choose between the surface and the depths as the basis of her operations, she chooses the surface and then burrows in as far as she can.” –E. M. Forster

About the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882–1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels, including Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, and Orlando.

Praise For…

One of the 100 Best English-language Novels — Time magazine

"Mrs. Dalloway is a standout work in a standout career, a hallmark of the Modernist movement, and a splendid, wrenching, subtle psychological novel, beloved in its day and beloved now." — Lithub, "The 10 Books That Defined the 1920s"

“Woolf is Modern. She feels close to us.” — Jeanette Winterson

“Hers is indisputably among the most sensitive of the minds and imaginations felicitously experimenting with the English novel.” — Jorge Luis Borges

“Virginia Woolf is one of the few writers who changed life for all of us. Her combination of intellectual courage and painful emotional sensitivity created a new way of perceiving and living in the world.” — Margaret Drabble

"Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century." — Michael Cunningham

Product Details
ISBN: 9780156628709
ISBN-10: 0156628708
Publisher: Mariner Books Classics
Publication Date: September 24th, 1990
Pages: 224
Language: English