Book Feature - Mitz by Sigrid Nunez
HBL Note: Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury is by the National Book Award–winning author of The Friend. I am so intrigued by this book - when I first read the premise of a marmoset befriending two humans and their pet cocker spaniels, I was a little skeptical. But because the author is so well known and her last book was so well-received, I read more. Then I discovered the story is based. on. a. true. story. Suddenly, my interest in piqued. THEN I found out that not only is it true, it is about Virginia Woolf and her husband. Now I’m hooked. The author pulled as much archival material as she could to put this story together. Scroll down to read more.
From the publisher:
In 1934, a "sickly pathetic marmoset” named Mitz came into the care of Leonard Woolf. After he nursed her back to health, she became a ubiquitous presence in Bloomsbury society. Moving with Leonard and Virginia Woolf between their homes in London and Sussex, she developed her own special relationship with each of them, as well as with their pet cocker spaniels and with various members of the Woolfs’ circle, among them T. S. Eliot and Vita Sackville-West. Mitz also helped the Woolfs escape a close call with Nazis during a trip through Germany just before the outbreak of World War II. Using letters, diaries, memoirs, and other archival documents, Nunez reconstructs Mitz’s life against the background of Bloomsbury’s twilight years. This tender and imaginative mock biography offers a striking look at the lives of writers and artists shadowed by war, death, and mental breakdown, and at the solace and amusement inspired by its tiny subject. A new edition, with an afterword by Peter Cameron and a never-before-published letter about Mitz by Nigel Nicolson.