USA Today Book Club Picks Two: The Hours and Mrs. Dalloway

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On Thursday, March 13, USA Today selected Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf (Harcourt) and Michael Cunningham's The Hours (Picador), an homage to Woolf, as its next book club titles.

The book club chose two books due to the success of the Oscar-nominated film version of Cunningham's novel, and "because it's so rewarding to read the two books in tandem," noted USA Today's Web site. This is the club's first dual selection.

Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hours was a January/February 2000 Book Sense 76 pick. In nominating the book for the 76, Christine Coffin of Chapter One Book Store in Hamilton, Montana, said, "What an evocative melding of past and present fiction and past and present authors. Cunningham uses Virginia Woolf -- her own life and her Mrs. Dalloway -- to infuse new characters with the timeless hopes and despairs, which Woolf so skillfully portrayed. He writes with a contemporary voice and an ease that flows back and forth from the past to the present. A startling read."

Mrs. Dalloway, a 2002 - 2003 Book Sense 76 "Best Books for Reading Groups" pick, is a stream-of-consciousness portrait of one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway -- a woman who, while preoccupied with the last minute details of party preparation, is flooded with far-away remembrances.

Cunningham will chat online with readers on March 20 at noon, EST, 9 a.m. PST. Readers may pose questions now at

For more on the USA Today Book Club, click here.