Mr. Dalloway, Robin Lippincott
As does the Woolf novel, Mr. Dalloway takes place within a single day, unfolding prismatically with a simultaneity of events: Clarissa walks in London and remembers her courtship with Richard; their daughter Elizabeth searches for answers about her eccentric history tutor's somewhat mysterious and premature death; and a determined and drunken Robert Davies has decided to crash Richard's party, dressed all in white satin, no less! As the novella moves toward its surprising climax, it revisits several of Woolf's celebrated characters-Sally Seton (now Lady Rosseter), Hugh Whitbread, Lady Bruton-while introducing new ones, such as the Sapphist couple Katherine Truelock and Eleanor Gibson, and the strange and beautiful Sasha Richardson.
Imaginative and formally bold as it refracts Woolf's fiction to invent a story completely Lippincott's own, Mr. Dalloway rides forward on waves of a masterfully complex and musical prose, full of wit, linguistic verve, and startling imagery.
Robin Lippincott is the author of The Real, True Angel, a collection of short stories published in 1996 by Fleur-de-Lis Press. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The American Voice, The Literary Review, Provincetown Arts, and many other magazines; he was awarded fellowships to Yaddo in 1997 and 1998.
What critics have to say about Mr. Dalloway:
“Anticipation propels the reader forward. . . . Lippincott is faithful to the interior voices, rhythms, and themes of the original, yet his exploration is fresh and revealing. A playful and worthy companion to both Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham’s recent, Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hours.”
—Booklist, starred review
“As an homage, Mr. Dalloway is . . . graceful and understated. Lippincott . . . touchingly examines the yearning for love and companionship of a man who seeks to live freely in a strait-laced society.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Lippincott calls his first novel a ‘creative response’ to the Virginia Woolf classic of similar title, but its virtuoso handling of the inner life of its characters should delight more than just Woolf enthusiasts. . . . By using recognizably Woolfian techniques—shifting points of view, extensive inner monologue—the author pays homage to Woolf while at the same time creating his own vision. . . . This is imitation in its finest form, as one writer draws from another to create a convincing world.”
“Lippincott’s novel is very Woolfian, but even better—there is a cameo by Woolf herself. A treat for readers of literary fiction.”