Alexandra Harris’s hugely acclaimed Romantic Moderns (winner of the 2010 Guardian First Book Award) overturned our picture of modernist culture during the interwar years. In her second book, which is newly available in paperback, she brings her attention to one of the towering figures of literary modernism. It is an intensely pleasurable read that weaves together the life and work of Virginia Woolf, and serves as an ideal introduction to both. Following the chronology of Woolf’s life, it considers each of the novels in context, gives due prominence to her dazzlingly inventive essays, traces the contentious course of her ‘afterlife’ and shows why, seventy years after her death, Virginia Woolf continues to haunt and inspire us.
Alexandra Harris studied at Oxford and at the Courtauld Institute in London, and worked at Christie's for a year before returning to Oxford to write a doctorate on art and literature in the 1930s. She is now a lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool, running courses on Modernism and American writing, and leading the MA in Contemporary Literature. Her first full-length book, Romantic Moderns, was the winner of the 2010 Guardian First Book Award. Alexandra Harris was also a winner in the BBC's 'New Generation Thinkers' contest in 2011.