If you could choose one relatively unknown, underrated or under appreciated book to share with others, which book would you recommend to others?
Another one of my favorite books is The Hours by Michael Cunningham. I watched the movie before reading the book, and I watched this movie over and over again. I was in love with the characters long before picking up the book, and so I instantly fell in love with the writing.
Cunningham hosts three women in parallel–along the plot of Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Brown, and Clarissa Vaughan all live very different lives, separated by time and culture, but their worlds are so similar in many ways, and they all circle back around each other.
I love the darkness that hides in the corners of this book. Depression and madness were like a shawl that Woolf wore every day, and the other two women constantly try to shrug it off.
What really causes me to recommend this book though, are what Cunningham writes about Woolf. I always tell people who want to read Virginia Woolf’s work to read this first, and then read Mrs. Dalloway. Woolf’s work is really jarring to read sometimes, but this will give you a (admittedly dramatized) look into the end of her life and you will understand more of where she comes from. Her work is so personal, and I think it’s important to understand her state of mind to really appreciate her writing. Reading her journals are another step as well. Woolf’s mind was incredibly brilliant, and incredibly tortured. She’s one person I would really love to discuss the world with. And I know she would find me absolutely ridiculous.