Category: Biography & Autobiography

10 Thought Provoking Quotes by Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, a literary genius, an advocate for feminists everywhere, a tormented, complicated soul, celebrates her would have been 138th birthday today. And on this special day, we want you to remember some of the remarkable sayings Woolf has blessed us with. So, here are 10 quotes by the prolific author, which makes us realize why she became such a profound figure worldwide.

1. On history

“Nothing has really happened until it has been described.”

image via bbc


2. on personal growth

“I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.”

image via the new yorker


3. on comedy

“Humor is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue.”

image via buboquote



4. On feminism

“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”

image via the new yorker


5. on fiction

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”

image via national portrait gallery


6. on aging

“The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.”

image via literary hub



7. on nature

“The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”

image via wikimedia



8. On diet

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

image via new statesman


9. on youth

“I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.”

image via moniq’s artyfacts



10. on being authentic

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

image via Blogging woolf

These quotes make it easy for us to realize the impact Virginia Woolf has had on culture, feminism, life and writing, and why her significance is as prevalent to this day.

featured image via granta


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Remembering George Orwell

As we remember the great author George Orwell on the day of his passing, we can’t help but marvel over his contribution not just as a writer of great artistic talent, but as an upstanding citizen of the world who wrote to the people and for the people, and stood up against The Man! So, here’s a list of facts about him that you may have not known, but definitely should!

1. man of many identities

image via writing as i please

That’s right, the George we know and love, was born as Eric Arthur Blair. And he was known as that until he was in Paris and had published his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, in 1933, channeling his alias George Orwell.



2. He was born in india

image via the guardian

Although Orwell is a British citizen, he was actually born in Motihari, Bihar, British India, which is now present day East Champaran, Bihar, India — who would’ve thought, right? You can see baby Orwell with his Indian nanny in the picture above.


3. he knew a real life muriel

image via whizzpast

George and his wife Eileen owned several farm animals at their home in Wallington, England, including Muriel the goat who shares the same name as the goat in Orwell’s Animal Farmhow adorable!


4. he had very smart teachers

image via intellectual takeout

While Orwell was attending a fancy prep school in England, he was taught French by the Brave New World author, Aldous Huxley! Talk about smart minds seeking out each other!



5. man of many words

image via london historians’ blog

Orwell wrote in a 1944 newspaper column, “In my life I have learned seven foreign languages, including two dead ones, and out of those seven I retain only one, and that not brilliantly.” While in school, he learned French from Aldous Huxley, who taught at Orwell’s boarding school, and ultimately became fluent in French, and eventually studied Latin, Greek, Spanish, and Burmese, to name a few!


6. HE contracted a deadly disease

image via wikipedia

From 1922 to 1927, Orwell lived in Burma, present day Myanmar, serving as a police officer with the Indian Police. But this ended due to his contracting dengue fever, which is spread through mosquitoes! Recovering from his illness, Orwell figured he’d spent enough of his life as a police officer and turned to a writing career instead — great thinking!


Not only was George Orwell a passionate and talented writer, he was also a person who strongly believed in and advocated for justice everywhere. These little facts about him also make us realize that he was also a very interesting man with a peculiar life. Although he may not be with us anymore, it’s safe to say that his work will continue to influence and impact the world for a very, very long time.

featured image via literary hub


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Birthday Girl’s Best Reads!

Michelle Obama is the queen we all need daily advice from. But since she’s sadly not on our speed dials, we will have to draw as much influence and inspiration from her recommended book list. For her birthday, we have put together a number of books this mega powerhouse of a lady thinks we should read. Make sure you snag these books as fast as possible if they aren’t already in your bookshelf!


1. an american marriage by tayari jones

image via amazon

Similar to BecomingAn American Marriage discusses race, gender roles, and of course, love. A newly married couple, Celestial and Roy, find their lives turned upside down when he is convicted of a crime he did not commit. Left on her own while Roy starts a 12-year prison sentence, Celestial drifts away from him, emotionally. So what will happen to their marriage now?



2. the grapes of wrath by john steinbeck

image via abe books

Published in 1939, this story is set against the backdrop of economic depression and ecological hardship, and has remained hugely popular to this day, and is a staple in Michelle’s list. It follows the fortunes of a family as they travel the iconic Route 66 from Oklahoma to California in search of a better life.


3. song of solomon by toni morrison

image via amazon

It’s no secret that Michelle is a Toni Morrison fan, because back in 2011, during Take Your Child to Work Day, Obama noted Song of Solomon was the book that made her love reading. Song of Solomon is a coming of age story that discusses, in a literal and figurative sense, what it means to fly. The book has stirred up quite some controversy as it confronts many topics some have found uncomfortable, including racism, murder, and abusive relationships.



4. white teeth by zadie smith

image via amazon

“I love the way the story weaves together so many complex and powerful forces that affect our lives and our relationships – family and parenting, religion and politics, and so much more. Plus, it’s just plain funny. I love books that make me laugh every now and then.”, says Michelle.


5. educated by tara westover

image via amazon

Michelle says: “It’s an engrossing read, a fresh perspective on the power of an education, and it’s also a testament to the way grit and resilience can shape our lives. Tara’s upbringing was so different from my own, but learning about her world gave me insight into lives and experiences that weren’t a part of my own journey.”



6. conversations with myself by nelson mandela

image via by amazon

“I like to flip through it from time to time because it always seems to give me an extra boost when I need it. I cherish this both because it was signed by him and because he gave it to me as a gift when my family visited his home in 2011.” says Michelle.



Michelle Obama is the inspirational spirit animal everyone needs, and although she may not be the First Lady anymore, her book list is a portrayal of her vision and guidance, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with everyone.


featured image via book riot

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Salinger Fans Unite For NYPL Exclusive Exhibition!

Great news for Salinger fans, as the New York Public Library presents an extremely rare glimpse into the life and work of author J.D. Salinger with a rather extensive exhibition, giving insight into the famous author’s life.


image via the independent


The exhibit includes a number of manuscripts, letters, photographs, books, and personal items that have been exclusively extracted from Salinger’s personal archive, the J.D Salinger Literary Trust, now run by his son Matt Salinger. This will be the first time these items—on loan from the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust—have ever been shared with the public.


image via nytimes


The exhibition is organized by Matt Salinger and his wife Colleen Salinger, along with Declan Kiely, Director of Special Collections and Exhibitions at The New York Public Library.



The great news is, the exhibition is free! Coinciding with J.D. Salinger’s birthday, the exhibition will be on display until January 19, 2020 in the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

More than 200 items spanning Salinger’s life will be featured. This will include the original typescript of The Catcher in the Rye, revised by the author, along with the original typescripts of some of Salinger’s other shorter fiction work, including Franny and Zooey.

There is also an original pencil portrait by E. Michael Mitchell, who made the original cover design for The Catcher in the Rye, and a collection of family photographs from Salinger’s childhood, youth, and later life, including photos from his World War II service.


image via Smithsonian magazine


Some of the more personal items include; a bookcase from Salinger’s bedroom filled with books from his personal library, and items from Salinger’s childhood, including a bowl which he had made at summer camp when he was about 10 years old, notebooks, passports, honorable discharge papers from the army in which he identified his civilian occupation as “Playwright, Author, ” and personal artifacts such as his pipes, eyeglasses, wristwatch and the cup he drank coffee from every morning.


image via nypost


Among these items, his typewriter and his film projector, were also present.


image via the wall street journal


The exhibition also includes a description of J.D. Salinger’s life and profession written by Salinger himself, showcasing a rare glimpse into how the author viewed himself. The description was written as part of a 1982 legal document. The description reads, in part:

“I am a professional short-story writer and novelist. I write fiction and only fiction. For more than thirty years, I have lived and done my work in rural New Hampshire. I was married here and my two children were raised here. . . . I have been writing fiction rather passionately, singlemindedly, perhaps insatiably, since I was fifteen or so . . . I positively rejoice to imagine that, sooner or later, the finished product safely goes to the ideal private reader, alive or dead or yet unborn, male or female or possibly neither.” – J.D. Salinger



Please note, while the exhibition is free, there are no bags or cellphones allowed and of course no photographs. It’s absolutely worth the experience and the influence is staggering, to just be able to immerse yourself in a place where one of the most influential authors is put on display in all his glory.

featured image via afar


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Fighting Through The Tears

When we were born, the first thing we did was cry. We came out looking for food and then used our tears to control our parents to give us what we want; be it changed a diaper, a bottle, or just plain old attention. As we developed into the men and women that we are today, we now save our tears for the big heartbreaks, pain, and sadness. If you’re like me and you laugh way too hard, then you tend to cry in moments of joy as well.

The award-winning poet, Heather Christle, dives into dissecting how crying can both help and hurt us, using history and science. Dealing with her own struggles with depression and the birth of her child, Christle faces “her joy, grief, anxiety, impending motherhood, and conflicted truce with the world.”

Image Via

The Crying Book describes the delights and surprises of crying by bringing understanding to mental illnesses and the expressions of women’s agency. Christle explores this human behavior not only within herself, but how crying has been represented within the world. One of which is “the ways in which white women’s tears have been used to persecute people of color.” For me, that brings up the story of Emmett Till, who was accused in 1955 of whistling at a white woman and was beaten to death. It brings tears to my eyes to even think of something like that, but that’s the point of Christle’s book — to help you face your emotions head-on and the thoughts they evoke.

Image Via Fanthom Mag

As a new mother, Christle fears postpartum depression as it may affect her abilities as a parent. Instead of suppressing those emotions, she continues to dive into them in order to make them less strange. “Rather than denying that self-pity can be pleasurable, she reveals how that pleasure comes from enfolding oneself in imagined care.”

Instead of denying your tears, gain a better understanding of how people in history have dealt with them, and maybe it will help you do the same.

Featured Image Via The Adroit Journal


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