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Virginia Woolf and Heritage$
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Jane deGay, Tom Breckin, and Anne Reus

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954422

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781942954422.001.0001

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An Office of Her Own? Alice Munro and the Legacy of Writing with In-Authority

An Office of Her Own? Alice Munro and the Legacy of Writing with In-Authority

(p.244) An Office of Her Own? Alice Munro and the Legacy of Writing with In-Authority
Virginia Woolf and Heritage

Eva Mendez

Liverpool University Press

In Alice Munro’s short story “The Office,” the protagonist claims an office of her own in which to write. Munro’s narrative can thus be read as engaging with the ideas on the spatial conditions for women’s writing which Virginia Woolf famously explored in A Room of One’s Own. My paper takes this thematic connection as a point of departure for suggesting that a Woolfian legacy shapes Munro’s “The Office” in ways which go beyond a shared interest in spaces for women’s writing. Both A Room of One’s Own and “The Office,” this paper argues, use the discussion of women’s writing spaces as a launching pad for exploring in how far women writers may claim for themselves traditionally masculine positions of authorship and authority, and in what ways authoritative forms of literary discourse may be transformed by women’s writing. In both A Room of One’s Own and “The Office,” the interruption as element of plot and rhetorical strategy plays a central role in answering these questions.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Alice Munro, women’s writing, space, interruption, female authority

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