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‘Everything had come to a standstill’ —Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

Clarissa Dalloway spends a Wednesday in mid-June 1923 wandering through Bloomsbury, buying flowers, and preparing for a dinner party. To many of her contemporaries, this represented a freedom they could only hope for – due to inequalities of class, gender and race.

A recent article from the American critic Evan Kindley noted: ‘At a time when our most ordinary acts — shopping, taking a walk — have come to seem momentous, a matter of life or death, Clarissa’s vision of everyday shopping as a high-stakes adventure resonates in a peculiar way. We are all Mrs. Dalloway now.’

Join Literary Hub’s managing editor Emily Temple, with authors Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Kate Young, as they explores the quotidian pleasures we’ve developed appreciation for since lockdown (from banana bread baking to poetry writing), how literature can support us in these confusing times, and how this experience compares to Clarissa Dalloway’s own cerebral journey.

Wednesday 17 June, 8pm.

To join, please register on Crowdcast.

This event is free to the public and RSL members.

We invite you to share your everyday pleasures with us on social media, using #DallowayDay.

Emily Temple is the managing editor at Literary Hub. Her first novel, The Lightness, is published by The Borough Press in June, and she hold an MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns fellow and the recipient of a Henfield Prize.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like You, which won The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. Her second novel Starling Days was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. The novel is about love, Ovid, mental illness, and Japanese beer.

Kate Young is an award-winning food writer and cook. Her books are The Little Library CookbookThe Little Library Year and forthcoming The Little Library Christmas (Head of Zeus). She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme, writes about food and books for various publications, and is one half of catering team Feast.

You can read an original edition of Virginia Woolf’s A Room Of One’s Own from 1929, and her notebook drafts Volume II and Volume III at the British Library online archive.