LOKOTHARA KATHAKAL: Stories of Virginia Woolf; Translated by V. Radhamani Kunjamma; DC Books, DC Kizhakemuri Edam, Good Shepherd Street, Kottayam-686001. Rs. 75.
British litterateur Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), a widely acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, essayist, feminist, critic and publisher, needs little introduction to students of world literature. Her attitude towards life and literary vision were fashioned largely by the sufferings she underwent as a child who lost her parents and step-sister quite early in life, the sexual harassment she was subjected to by her half-brothers, and the resultant nervous breakdown and emotional upheavals.
The book under review presents 14 of her stories, selected from Monday or Tuesday (1921), the only anthology of short stories published during her life-time, and from The Haunted House and Other Stories, published three years after her death.
The collection has a delectable mix of stories that bring out the different facets of Woolf as a story-teller. The ones that won critical acclaim include Monday to Tuesday,The String Quartet, and A Haunted House.
If The Unwritten Novel signified thematic variety and application of impressionism, The Mark on the Wall highlighted the flowing nature of human mind. Kew Gardens offers an intelligent analysis of certain micro elements and their aesthetics. The translation is marked by clarity and the narrative makes smooth reading.