Virginia Woolf books that are a literary gem

It is her art of writing from inside the minds of the characters that make her extraordinary

Adeline Virginia Woolf, more famously known as Virginia Woolf, was an English writer and one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors. Though she never gained any formal schooling but encouraged by her father Virginia began writing professionally in 1900. As a writer, Woolf is considered to be one of the important 20th-century novelists and a modernist who is one of the pioneers for using the stream of consciousness as a narrative device.

Mrs Dalloway This is a story about a day in the life of high-society English woman Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I London. From present to past, and in between the thoughts of characters in Dalloway's life, Woolf explores the society at the time and creates an image of the protagonist’s life through her thoughts. This book is also an example of Woolf’s style of writing - a stream of consciousness narrative.

A Room of One's Own This essay by Woolf explores the role of women in fiction, both as authors and as characters. The title, which has since then become a dictum, talks about the need for women to occupy their own space and arguing how women are poorly represented in literature. To exemplify her theory, Woolf has created an imaginary character: Shakespeare’s sister, and gives her a talent as great as Shakespeare’s.

To the Lighthouse This is a story revolving around the Ramsay family and their friends, who are on vacation in the Ramsays' summer house. It is Woolf’s interpretation of human emotions that will leave a thunderous impact on the readers as she dives deep into human fear and bringing to life perspective and perception taking place inside the human mind.

The Waves It is said to be Woolf's most mysterious novels as it presents a series of monologues by six central characters delving into the notions of identity, individuality and society. The Waves is often considered Woolf’s masterpiece owing to its unique style of writing and intertwining poetry and prose.

Orlando: A Biography This novel tells the story of a gender fluid English poet who lives from Elizabethan times to the 20th century. It is considered to be Woolf’s most intense novel explores key issues of gender and identity. It starts with a male protagonist who frequents Queen Elizabeth’s court.

Woolf's work is instrumental in talking about feminism and women. Her reputation for the same was at its peak during the 1930s and declined during World War II. However, it came to light again with the growth of feminist criticism in the 1970s. Woolf's work of fiction is studied for its insight into many themes including war, shell shock, witchcraft, and the role of social class in contemporary modern British society.