A daring, deeply affecting third novel by the author of A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood.
In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. The narrative of Woolf's last days before her suicide early in World War II counterpoints the fictional stories of Samuel, a famous poet whose life has been shadowed by his talented and troubled mother, and his lifelong friend Clarissa, who strives to forge a balanced and rewarding life in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.
Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, this is Cunningham's most remarkable achievement to date. The Hours is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
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The Hours is both an homage to Virginia Woolf and very much its own creature. Even as Michael Cunningham brings his literary idol back to life, he intertwines her story with those of two more contemporary women. One gray suburban London morning in 1923, Woolf awakens from a dream that will soon lead to Mrs. Dalloway. In the present, on a beautiful June day in Greenwich Village, 52-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. And in Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown, pregnant and unsettled, does her best to prepare for her husband's birthday, but can't seem to stop reading Woolf. These women's lives are linked both by the 1925 novel and by the few precious moments of possibility each keeps returning to. Clarissa is to eventually realize:
There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined.... Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.As Cunningham moves between the three women, his transitions are seamless. One early chapter ends with Woolf picking up her pen and composing her first sentence, "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." The next begins with Laura rejoicing over that line and the fictional universe she is about to enter. Clarissa's day, on the other hand, is a mirror of Mrs. Dalloway's--with, however, an appropriate degree of modern beveling as Cunningham updates and elaborates his source of inspiration. Clarissa knows that her desire to give her friend the perfect party may seem trivial to many. Yet it seems better to her than shutting down in the face of disaster and despair. Like its literary inspiration, The Hours is a hymn to consciousness and the beauties and losses it perceives. It is also a reminder that, as Cunningham again and again makes us realize, art belongs to far more than just "the world of objects." --Kerry Fried From the Publisher:
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; Seventh Printing. Book and DJ are New, first edition, 7th printing, Laurie 19, ; 8.30 X 5.70 X 0.90 inches; 230 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 28825
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New book. May have light shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # BK0125980
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The author of "At Home at the End of the World" and "Flesh and Blood" draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0374172897
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0374172897 Brand new, Unopened, may have slight shelf wear. Excellent Customer Service. Ships Quickly. Bookseller Inventory # SKU002686
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97803741728931.0
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0374172897
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110374172897
Book Description Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 1998. Original Wraps. Book Condition: Very Fine. No Jacket. First Edition - First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. VOS. First edition, first printing. The Advance Reader's Edition. A very fine and unread copy in pictorial stiff paper wraps, now in a clear removable protective cover. Bubble wrapped and shipped in a well padded, sturdy box, or a priority envelope for international customers. Basis for the Academy Award winning film starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, and John C. Reilly, directed by Stephen Daldry. SIGNED by the author on the title page. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 010310
Book Description U.S.A.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. signed by author and dated June 4, 2005; signature personally obtained by bookseller; combines the historical record of Virginia Woolf with Cunningham's imaginings of her inner life; Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 1495