This is a class for creative writers and creative readers interested in reading and above all, enjoying, the strange, beautiful novels of Virginia Woolf, a radical innovator of English prose whose work, since the moment it first appeared – through to today – has opened up new, and fascinating storytelling possibilities for writers (and readers) ever since. Woolf's singular work has inspired countless writers, including Eudora Welty, W.H. Auden, Toni Morrison (who wrote her master's thesis on Woolf), Edna O'Brien, Michael Cunningham, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Zadie Smith, among many, many others. Woolf's great subjects were memory and time and we'll be examining, through close reading, the many technical innovations Woolf developed, as the well as the emotional risks she took, in order to capture memory and time on the page, such as her use of a unique combination of interiority and lyrical intensity. The class will begin with a look at Woolf's landmark, book-length essay on the women's struggle for independence and creative opportunity, A Room of One's Own. We'll be also be reading excerpts from a creative biography of Woolf and various essays by and about Woolf that concern, directly, her development as a writer who challenged much of what had come before. In order to trace, through three pivotal novels, Woolf's creative development, our primary texts will be: Mrs. Dalloway, where Woolf breaks away from the constraints of traditional narrative, To The Lighthouse, perhaps her most beloved and most autobiographical book, and The Waves, arguably the most poetic, resonant, and challenging of her later works. Written work will be a combination of critical and creative responses to Woolf's fiction. Dist: LIT; WCult: W.