On Being Ill

Alpine Books


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"By turns lyrical, self-mocking, and outlandish, Woolf's meditation on the perils and privileges of the sickbed lampoons the loneliness that makes one 'glad of a kick from a housemaid.' When Woolf imagines beauty in a frozen-over garden . . . it seems less a triumph of nature than of art."—The New Yorker

"Brilliant and beautiful."—Francine Prose, Bookforum

"[A] long-neglected reverie on illness . . . reprinted by the sterling Paris Press. This is a brilliant and odd book, charged with restrained emotion and sudden humor."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The resurrection of this forgotten work on illness is a boon indeed. . . . This is Woolf at her spangled best."—Booklist

In this poignant and humorous book, Virginia Woolf observes that no human being is spared toothaches, colds, and the flu. Yet illness—transformative and as common as love and war—is rarely the subject of polite conversation, let alone literature. This paperback facsimile of the 1930 Hogarth Press edition, with Hermione Lee's introduction to Woolf's life, work, and On Being Ill, is ideal for book groups, general readers, students, caregivers, and of course anyone suffering from a cold or more serious illness.

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) is among the greatest literary geniuses of the twentieth century. Her groundbreaking books include Mrs. DallowayTo the Lighthouse, and A Room of One's Own.

Hermione Lee is the renowned author of Virginia Woolf. Her other best-selling biographies include Edith WhartonWilla Cather, and Philip Roth. She is president of Wolfson College, University of Oxford, England.