Dalloway Day

Photographs of Kirsty Gunn, Emma Claire, Irenosen Okojie and Emily Midorikawa

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Exploring the relationship between two of modernism's key writers, Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield

This is an online event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers are sent a link in advance giving access and can watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

Every year on ‘a Wednesday in mid-June’, the setting for Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway, we partner with the Royal Society of Literature to celebrate the work and legacy of Virginia Woolf. This year, we unspool the complex relationship between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. Despite scathing critiques of each other’s work, upon Mansfield’s death Woolf wrote 'I was jealous of her writing - the only writing I have ever been jealous of.’ Marking 100 years since the publication of Woolf’s only short story collection, this session explores Mansfield and Woolf’s short stories and their unique friendship.

Click here to read more about the British Library’s Virginia Woolf collection.

Kirsty Gunn was elected as a Fellow of the RSL in 2020. She is the author of nine works of fiction including, most recently Caroline’s Bikini, and a forthcoming collection of short stories, Blood Knowledge. Her work has been translated in over 12 countries, received international awards, and been made into films, dance and radio productions.

Emily Midorikawa is the author of Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice. She co-authored (with Emma Claire Sweeney) A Secret Sisterhood: The Hidden Friendships of Austen, Brontё, Eliot and Woolf. Emily won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and has written for the Telegraph, the Paris Review and the Washington Post. 

Irenosen Okojie was elected as a Fellow of the RSL in 2018. Her debut novel, Butterfly Fish, won a Betty Trask Award. Her short stories have been published internationally, and her collection Speak Gigantular was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Saboteur Awards, and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award.

Emma Claire Sweeney has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the Asham, Wasafiri and Fish. She teaches creative writing at New York University; co-runs SomethingRhymed.com, and writes on disability for the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday.

Presented in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature.

Images: Kirsty Gunn, Emma Claire, Katherine Mansfield, Irenosen Okojie, Emily Midorikawa, Virginia Woolf

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Name: Dalloway Day
Where: British Library St Pancras
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546