To me it was the best combination of an incredibly writerly book—what a brilliant idea to do a contemporary version of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway—but even on its own merits, it’s an incredible meditation on a woman’s life. I immediately reread Mrs. Dalloway, which I had originally read in high school. It was fascinating to see the way Cunningham had reinterpreted that book. Reading those two books together just set me on fire.
Susan Orlean is the author of The Orchid Thief and The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup, which Random House will publish in paperback in January.