I have some exciting news! For the whole month of February Intrepid English’s Book Club is FREE for both members and non-members. This means you will not only be joined by your fellow Intrepid English students but another set of characters, as well.
Throughout the month we will read and discuss Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, The Hours. The novel takes place in three different decades and places. First we have 1920s London where Virginia Woolf fights against her rebellious spirit as she attempts to start her new novel that will become Mrs Dalloway.
In 1940s Los Angeles, we meet Mrs. Brown, a young wife and mother, stuck in the American suburbs whilst finding refugee in Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. And finally, we have Clarissa Vaughan – or, Mrs. Dalloway, as her old friend calls her – in 1990s New York. She begins her day buying flowers in preparation for a party she is hosting for her dying friend.
The Hours is a truly magnificent book, re-establishing Woolf’s classic story, Mrs Dalloway, whilst giving us a behind-the-scenes look at Woolf’s creation. Cunningham drifts between these three places and years, effortlessly, his writing is both fluid and reserved. First published in 1998, Cunningham’s novel went on to become the Oscar-winning movie starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore.
During the month of February, we will start by looking at the book’s inspiration – Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway which was originally going to be called ‘The Hours’. We will then move onto discussions about the American Dream, suburbia, and continuing a character’s story. Most importantly, we will focus on these three women – the lives they inhabit, the yearning desires, the prospect of love and adventure.
Here is a breakdown of the month ahead:
Wednesday 2nd February (2pm-3pm)
Theme: The Writer and the Creation – Mrs. Dalloway & The Hours
We will be referring to Virginia Woolf’s original text in this class.
Wednesday 9th February (2pm-3pm)
Theme: Continuing the story – Mrs. Dalloway in New York
Wednesday 16th February (2pm-3pm)
Theme: The Cost of the American Dream – Mrs. Brown & Mrs. Givings
We will be referring to Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road in this class.
Wednesday 23rd February (2pm-3pm)
Theme: Mrs. Dalloway Lives On!
Don’t worry if you haven’t already read The Hours – we’ll be reading it in class and taking time to discuss the vocabulary. Plus, there’s an excellent film adaptation to give you an idea of the story if you’d prefer to be prepared.
I also don’t want you to be worried or scared about speaking in a group. I understand it can be daunting but my literature classes have a calm, fun environment. There are no wrong answers when it comes to literature. Remember that. Hopefully, you’ll find some comfort in it.
If you can’t wait for the first class, you can listen to ‘Morning Passages’ from Philip Glass.
Book a seat so that you don’t miss out!
This content was written and recorded by Intrepid English Teacher Thomas.
You can find out more about Thomas on his Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.
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