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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
On the day Virginia Woolf walked along the riverbank searching for stones to fill her pockets, her sister, Vanessa Bell, was in the unfamiliar position of being nowhere nearby. For decades, the painter, Vanessa, and the writer, Virginia, were not only the closest of companions; conversely, they were archrivals. Collaborators, friends, confidantes, and rumored to be lovers, their devotion was tempered by years of jealousy and mistrust. That their creative genius would take such different paths is at the heart of this sensitive and nuanced novel. Told from Vanessa's vantage point, it's a powerful and often disturbing portrait of their intense lifelong relationship.
With a preoccupied, elusive mother and a controlling, judgmental father, the sisters had no external reference except each other. As young girls, they competed for attention from their parents and a beloved younger brother, establishing a pattern that would continue to define and divide them. Later, as members of the Bloomsbury group, they began to craft new lives, notable not only for their unorthodox marriages but also for their seminal works of art.
Sellers's compelling novel is both faithful to the historical record and provocative in its interpretation of it. Boldly original and gracefully written, Vanessa & Virginia examines the lives of these two sisters, who as women and as artists left such a profound and lasting legacy. (Summer 2009 Selection)