Mitz: The Marmoset Of Bloomsbury

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9780060174071: Mitz: The Marmoset Of Bloomsbury

Praised as a "gifted storyteller" by the Chicago Tribune, the acclaimed author of A Feather on the Breath of God and Naked Sleeper delivers an enchanting fictional memoir about Leonard and Virginia Woolf's pet marmoset.

In 1934 "A sickly pathetic marmoset" named Mitz came into the care of Leonard Woolf. He nursed her back to health and from then on was rarely seen without the amusing monkey on his shoulder. A ubiquitous presence in Bloomsbury society, Mitz moved with the Wollfs between their homes in London and Sussex. She developed her own special relationships with the family's cocker spaniels and with the various members of the Woolfs' circle, among them T.S. Eliot and Vita Sackville-West. Mitz even played a vital role in helping the Woolfs escape a close call with Nazis in Germany just before World War II.

Now, using letters, diaries, and memoirs, award-winning novelist Sigrid Nunez reconstructs this unique creature's life against the fascinating backdrop of Bloomsbury in its twilight years. Tender, affectionate, and filled with humor, Mitz offers a glimpse into a singular time not only marked by the threat of war, the deaths of beloved friends and relations, and Virginia's near-breakdown under the strain of finishing her novel The Years, but also blessed with much happiness and productivity for the literary Woolfs. It is a novel as endearing and unforgettable as Mitz the marmoset herself.

One of the most respected writers in America today, Sigrid Nunez lives in New York City.

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From the Back Cover:

In the summer of 1934, "a sickly pathetic marmoset" called Mitz came into the care of Leonard Woolf. He nursed her back to health and from then on was rarely seen without her on his shoulder. A "ubiquitous" presence in Bloomsbury society. Mitz moved with the Woolfs between their London flat and their cottage in Sussex. She developed her own special relationships with the Woolfs' spaniels, Pinks and Sally, and with various members of the Woolfs' circle, such as T. S. Eliot and Vita Sackville-West. She accompanied the Woolfs on their holidays, including their travels through Europe, and played an important role in helping them to escape a close call with Nazis in Germany. Using letters, diaries, and memoirs, Nunez reconstructs Mitz's life against the background of Bloomsbury in its twilight years. Although a turbulent period marked by the threat of war, the deaths of beloved friends and relations, and Virginia's near breakdown under the strain of finishing her novel The Years, it was nevertheless a time of much happiness and productivity for the Woolfs. Tender, affectionate, and humorous, Mitz provides a glimpse of what Virginia Woolf once described as "the private side of life - the play side", which she believed one's pets represented. Through Nunez's skillful storytelling, an intimate portrait of a most uncommon household emerges - a celebration of the love that saw one monkey, two dogs, and modern literature's most famous husband and wife through some of the worst of times.

About the Author:

Sigrid Nunez's work has appeared in many leading literary journals. She lives in New York City.

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