Granite and Rainbow by Mitchell Leaska
The Hidden Life of Virginia Woolf

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Synopsis

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) once mused that no biographer had ever been "subtle enough and bold enough to present that queer amalgamation of dream and reality, that perpetual marriage of granite and rainbow" that is an artist's life. Noted Woolf scholar Mitchell Leaska has now answered this daunting challenge in an uncompromising, deeply informed biography filled with new insights and fresh revelations. In addition to examining her crucial role in Hogarth Press, which published works by T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood, Sigmund Freud, and Katherine Mansfield, Leaska recounts the hard realities of Woolf's life and how she transformed them in her iridescent novels, essays, letters, and diaries.
 

About Mitchell Leaska

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Mitchell Leaska is the author of Virginia Woolf's Lighthouse, praised by Leonard Woolf as "the most illuminating study of Virginia Woolf's novels that I have read". He lives in New York City.
 
Published January 1, 1998 by PICADOR. 528 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Another effort at what Woolf herself once described as the ``compromise, evasion, understatement, overstatement, irrelevance which we call biography.'' Woolf biographies and studies are still churned out at nearly an annual rate.

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According to Leaska, an English professor at New York University and editor of Woolf's early journals, A Passionate Apprentice, which he exploits relentlessly here, Woolf's writing ""twisted pleasure from pain"" and created defenses against her manic-depressive cycles.

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Oh but the divine joy of being mistress of my mind again! Virginia Woolf once wrote. Apparently inheriting mental instability as well as intellectual brilliance, she employed words and recycled re

May 04 1998 | Read Full Review of Granite and Rainbow: The Hidd...

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