T102 | Not Afraid of Virginia Woolf  


11:30 am-1:00 pm


1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16 & 2/23

Six Sessions


This course is offered online via the easy-to-use Zoom program.


In her effort to convey the complexities of modern life, Virginia Woolf, a self-described explorer and revolutionary, pushed literary conventions in both style and content.  With prodigious imagination and verbal invention, she creates reality by means of a startling voyage through the twisted corridors of her character’s mind.  This so-called “stream of consciousness” profoundly influenced succeeding authors, most notably Michael Cunningham, who found inspiration in Mrs. Dalloway for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours.  We will read both these works and study how they employed this new literary technique to portray the human condition in an entirely new way. 



Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1990] 

The Hours, Michael Cunningham [Picador Modern Classic, 1998] 

For the first class (1/19), please read the foreword to Mrs. Dalloway by Maureen Howard and view The Mind and Times of Virginia Woolf, Parts 1-3, on YouTube. 

 If you wish, you may also want to view the films Mrs. Dalloway (director Marleen Gorris, 1997) and The Hours (director Stephen Daldry, 2002). 

Nancy Walters holds an M.A. in English from Trinity College in Hartford and an M.A. in English (ESL) from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.  After teaching for 45 years in St. Louis at Webster Groves High School, St. Louis University, and Lindenwood University, she moved to the Berkshires and became active in OLLI.  This is her fourth OLLI course. 


Course Materials:

Welcome Letter: Dear Intrepid Readers.docx

Syllabus: Syllabus for Not Afraid of Virginia Woolf.docx


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