Annotating Mrs. Dalloway: Merve Emre with James Wood

Thu. Nov 18, 2021 6:00pm - 7:00pm EST
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Event Description

Two fellow scholars and critics revisit Woolf's modernist masterpiece.

In 1925 Virginia Woolf published her fourth novel, Mrs. Dalloway. It was a groundbreaking and essential work of modernist literature. Shortly before its release, Woolf wrote in a diary, "I might become one of the interesting—I will not say great—but interesting novelists." In the new Annotated Mrs. Dalloway, scholar and critic Merve Emre traces the genesis of the story and its indelible characters. She speaks about the book with New Yorker critic James Wood.

The New York Public Library holds what is arguably the most complete and important collection of Virginia Woolf material in the world. It includes a manuscript draft of "The Prime Minister," a short story that formed part of Mrs. Dalloway's foundation. Visit the Library's new Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures to see it in person along with some of the most extraordinary items from the 56 million in our collections.

The event is presented as part of the Treasures exhibition. It will begin with a short curator talk on the Woolf collections and "The Prime Minister" by Carolyn Vega, the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Curator of English and American Literature. 

This program will be streamed live on the NYPL event page.

A live transcript will be provided. ASL interpretation is available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing A pre-filled Gmail template is available by clicking hereAny media will be accompanied by alt text to reference before the program or by audio description.

Merve Emre is an associate professor of English at the University of Oxford, the author of several books, including The Personality Brokers, and a contributing writer at The New Yorker

James Wood teaches English at Harvard University and is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is the author of several books of essays, most recently Serious Noticing: Selected Essays 1997-2019, and two novels, most recently Upstate (2018).


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Merve Emre © Christian Nakarado

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