Vanessa & Virginia
by Susan Sellers
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 213 pages, $23.
VANESSA & VIRGINIA is a short, imaginative novel of two sisters, Vanessa and Virginia Stephen, better known as the artist Vanessa Bell and the writer Virginia Woolf. Written from Vanessa’s perspective, it follows the two from childhood, depicting the tightly knit yet complex relationship between them through Virginia’s suicide in 1941 and into Vanessa’s old age. Author Susan Sellers, a professor of English at St. Andrews University, has used research from other scholars, including Hermione Lee’s biography of Virginia Woolf, to produce a faithful rendering of these two unconventional, highly creative women.