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Moments of Being is “the single most moving and beautiful thing that Virginia Woolf ever wrote about her own life” (The New York Times) and her only autobiographical writing, published years after her death.
This collection of five pieces written for different audiences spanning almost four decades reveals the remarkable unity of Virginia Woolf’s art, thought, and sensibility.?
“Reminiscences,” written during her apprenticeship period, exposes the childhood shared by Woolf and her sister, Vanessa, while “A Sketch of the Past” illuminates the relationship with her father, Leslie Stephens, who played a crucial role in her development as an individual a writer. Of the final three pieces, composed for the Memoir Club, which required absolute candor of its members, two show Woolf at the threshold of artistic maturity and one shows a confident writer poking fun at her own foibles.

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“The single most moving and beautiful thing that Virginia Woolf ever wrote about her own life.”— The New York Times
 

About the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882–1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels, including Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, and Orlando.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
112 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Aran Joseph CanesTop Contributor: Philosophy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Tragicomic Memoir
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2019
Most everything that Virginia Woolf wrote was enchanting and her autobiographical writings are no exception. The details of her life are obviously accessible from many sources. But to read her own account of it provides a window into that room of her own. And... See more
Most everything that Virginia Woolf wrote was enchanting and her autobiographical writings are no exception. The details of her life are obviously accessible from many sources. But to read her own account of it provides a window into that room of her own.

And the portrait that emerges is one of a surface witticism and comedic banter hiding the deeper tragic perspective that ultimately consumed her personality. In her private writings the many sufferings she had to bear both from fate and society are the predominant theme. In the public writings these same events are described as so many irreverent adventures.

For those who have read and loved both To the Lighthouse and the Common Readers this change in tenor will come as no surprise. For these devoted readers, the personal recollections from both perspectives are, surprisingly enough, sheer enjoyment.

Of course the book contains reminisces of Bloomsbury that are of more than personal importance. But I believe the book will most be treasured by those for whom a Woolf novel is itself a moment of being—the term Woolf used to describe a sudden eruption of the full force of reality.

The tragicomic worldview has been known since the ancient Greeks. But rarely has it been so movingly expressed as by Virginia Woolf. Moments of Being is not only about Woolf’s moments of being but was, for this reader, a personal moment of being. Highly recommended.
14 people found this helpful
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Priscilla A. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Life into Art
Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2016
Woolf''s autobiographical sketches/diaries/accounts provide intimate insight into her transformation of her childhood memories into her art, especially for To The Lighthouse. Anyone interested in Woolf will find these fascinating, moving, informative.
11 people found this helpful
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Emily McKeon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hard to Put Down!
Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2021
My professor had offhandedly mentioned "Moments of Being" while I was working on my senior thesis on Virginia Woolf. I can''t begin to explain how vastly underrated this edition is. Not only are the editorial notes fantastic, but being able to read her personal writings... See more
My professor had offhandedly mentioned "Moments of Being" while I was working on my senior thesis on Virginia Woolf. I can''t begin to explain how vastly underrated this edition is. Not only are the editorial notes fantastic, but being able to read her personal writings aside from the popular novels was amazing. It''s an incredible in-depth personal view of her family, upbringing, and relationships, told through her stories.
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MARIA CAROLINA CASAS MENDEZ
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Received a different edition
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2020
The book itself is beautiful, but I received a different edition than the one I purchased. I specifically bought this edition because I liked the cover and I received something else without an explanation.
3 people found this helpful
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Ginny Mapes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Who''s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2013
Moments of Being: a collection of Autobiographical Writing of Virginia Woolf. The book is edited with an introduction and notes by Jeanne Schulkind. One reviewer commented, "By far the most important book about Virginia Woolf that has appeared since her death." This book... See more
Moments of Being: a collection of Autobiographical Writing of Virginia Woolf. The book is edited with an introduction and notes by Jeanne Schulkind. One reviewer commented, "By far the most important book about Virginia Woolf that has appeared since her death." This book is a collection of five memoir pieces written for different audiences over four decades. I remember reading about Virginia Woolf during my literature classes at Portland State University. Since many years have past, I was curious to read more about her.

Her writings are so moving the reader can see what life was like during those times. Virginia Woolf was so ahead of her time. I love her quote, "For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." She also states, "I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don''t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past."

"Language is wine upon the lips." shows how she can play with words to create the picture she wants. Always truthful, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
A must for the Virginia Woolf collectors, literature students, and those who love great writing!
17 people found this helpful
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David Kline
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book
Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2016
Classic Virginia Woolf
2 people found this helpful
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Evan
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not edition as advertised
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2020
Not edition as advertised
One person found this helpful
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Skit
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2014
Perfect copy, prompt delivery. Thank you.
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Top reviews from other countries

CM
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Cheap but not very cheerful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2018
This rather yellowed and creased publication was not as advertised in ''very good condition'' - being charitable ''average'' would have been a better way to list it..
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Tonio
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good
Reviewed in Italy on October 30, 2016
Hello , Yes Moments of Being is a wonderful expression of Virginia Woolf Life and expectations Thanks Mary Bye bye
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