This latest volume in the Oxford Readings in Feminism series consists of an exciting collection of articles addressing key questions for feminism and cultural studies. Encompassing both classic articles and challenging new work, Feminism and Cultural Studies is organized thematically and addresses commodification, women and labor, mass culture, fantasy and ideas of home.
This article examines some important historical, literary, and theoretical questions that are posed by the idea of “writing a life” in the early years of the twentieth century. Its focus is primarily on the constitutive relations between gender, literature and culture in the work of Virginia Woolf, and it proposes readings of a range of texts that were written by Woolf “on or about December 1930″ that engage with questions of life-writing. The texts analysed include Woolf's novel The Waves and (...) Orlando: A Biography. These are read alongside other texts from the same period in which Woolf deploys a first-person voice, including her Diary and a long letter she wrote as a kind of preface to a published collection of letters by working women. Finally, the article also draws on a number of Woolf's essays to suggest ways in which the problems of writing a life might intersect with other political, historical and literary problems with which she was preoccupied in the early 1930s. (shrink)