Dalloway Day: After Woolf

19 June Dalloway Day 2019

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With Monica Ali, Olivia Laing and Elif Shafak

Part of a series of events taking place across London and the UK re-thinking Woolf’s works in their 21st-century contexts, we explore why Mrs Dalloway remains a touchstone for authors today, and investigate what Woolf’s words still do to provoke, challenge and interrogate attitudes to class, mental health and race.

While walking through London, in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf, Monica Ali concludes that ‘trying to get the measure of London is futile. Better to do as Woolf does and catch at thoughts and feelings, the immediate perception of things, so as to be able to say, like Lily Briscoe in To The Lighthouse, Yes, I have had my vision.’ 

While time may have changed the city, Woolf’s nuanced way of capturing a moment or a place, in all its immediacy, has influenced generations of writers after her. Why does Virginia Woolf continue to be such a powerful point of reference for writers working today? And why does she still have so much to show writers about themselves? 

On this year’s Dalloway Day – a whole day dedicated to the celebration Woolf’s one-day novel Mrs Dalloway – three writers discuss Woolf’s influence and the challenges of interpolating one of the 20th century’s most significant writers in works inflected by their own lives. 

Monica Ali’s novels have been translated into 26 languages and include Untold Story, In the Kitchen, and the Man Booker shortlisted Brick Lane. She has taught creative writing at Columbia University, New York, and was Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Surrey from 2105 to 2018. 

Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and critic. She's the author of To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring, and The Lonely City. Her latest book, Crudo, is a real-time novel about the turbulent summer of 2017. 

British-Turkish writer Elif Shafak is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Shafak has published 16 books, 10 of which are novels, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love and her most recent, Three Daughters of Eve.

In partnership with The Royal Society of Literature

Image: Virginia Woolf in 1902 by George Charles Beresford 


Name: Dalloway Day: After Woolf
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Member: £15.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546