Sigrid Nunez's Bookshelf
By Virginia Woolf
This volume was first published in 1953, long before the complete Diary would become available. The editor, Woolf's husband, Leonard, chose only extracts that related to his wife's writing career. One reviewer, W.H. Auden, wrote, "I have never read any book that conveyed more truthfully what a writer's life is like.…" I read it around the same time that I began reading Woolf's fiction, and it has meant as much to me as any of her novels—perhaps more. In her reflections on her life as a woman and a writer, I have taken boundless comfort as well as delight. As another reader, her friend Elizabeth Bowen, concluded, "The spring and principle of her art was joy."