Desiring Women: The Partnership of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
On 23 September 1925, Virginia Woolf wrote to Vita Sackville-West: 'if you'll make me up, I'll make you.' In Desiring Women, Karyn Sproles argues that the two writers in fact 'made' each other. Woolf and Sackville-West produced some of the most vibrant and acclaimed work of their respective careers during their passionate affair, and Sproles demonstrates how this body of work was a collaborative project - a partnership - in which they promised to reinvent one another.
Sproles argues that in all they wrote during their affair - essays, criticism, novels, poems, biographies, and personal etters - Woolf and Sackville-West struggled to represent their desire for one another and to resist the social pressures that would deny their passion. At the centre of this literary conversation is Orlando, Woolf's biography of Sackville-West. Sproles restores Orlando to the context of Woolf and Sackville-West's discussion of gender and sexuality and demonstrates its importance in Woolf's oeuvre. Sexy and provocative, Desiring Women re-imagines Woolf and Sackville-West as daring, funny, beautiful, and bent on resisting the repression of women's desires.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 270 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
Author InformationKaryn Sproles is a professor in the Department of English and an associate dean of the General Education Program at James Madison University.
Table of contents
- Desiring Women
- Forbidden Knowledge: Vita Sackville-West’s Secret Fruit
- Making Use of the Fruit: Vita Sackville-West’s Influence on Virginia Woolf
- Orlando: A Biography of Desire
- Genre Instability and Orlando: Biography as a Feminist Practice
- Making up Women: Revolutions in Biography
- Love Letters and Feminine Sexuality
- Subverted Subjects
Appendix A: A Chronology of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West’s Relationship
Appendix B: A Chronology of Virginia Woolf’s and Vita Sackville-West’s Publications, 1922–9
Appendix C: A Selected Chronological Bibliography of Virginia Woolf and Sexuality, 1972–99
Subjects and Courses