The Hours

A Novel

Michael Cunningham


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A daring, deeply affecting third novel by the author of A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood.

In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. The narrative of Woolf's last days before her suicide early in World War II counterpoints the fictional stories of Samuel, a famous poet whose life has been shadowed by his talented and troubled mother, and his lifelong friend Clarissa, who strives to forge a balanced and rewarding life in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.

Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, this is Cunningham's most remarkable achievement to date.

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Excerpt from The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Copyright © 1998 by Michael Cunningham. To be published in November, 1998 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.

She hurries from the house, wearing a coat too heavy for the weather. It is 1941. Another war has begun. She has left a note for Leonard, and another for Vanessa. She walks purposefully toward the river, certain of what she'll do, but even now she is almost distracted by the sight of the downs, the church, and a scattering of sheep, incandescent, tinged with a faint hint of sulfur, grazing under a darkening

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The Hours by Michael Cunningham--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt and hear Michael Cunningham read from his novel The Hours, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award for Fiction, and adapted into a film that was nominated for 9 Academy Awards.

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Praise for The Hours

"The overall impression is that of a delicate, triumphant glance, an acknowledgement of Woolf that takes her into Cunningham's own territory, a place of late-century danger but also of treasurable hours."—Michael Wood, The New York Times Book Review

"An exquisitely written, kaleidoscopic work that anchors a floating postmodern world on pre-modern caissons of love, grief and transcendent longing."—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"[Cunningham] has deftly created something original, a trio of richly interwoven tales that alternate with one another chapter by chapter, each of them entering the thoughts of a character as she moves through the small details of a day . . . Cunningham's emulation of such a revered writer as Woolf is courageous, and this is his most mature and masterful work."—Jameson Currier, The Washington Post Book World

"The triumph of The Hours is that it somehow manages to be both artful and sincere, striking nary a false note . . . And the triumph of the book is no less the triumph of its author. Just when it seemed that it was no longer permissible to pay respect to the literature of the past, Cunningham has done so with an undeniable skill and depth of feeling."—Justin Cronin, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Rich and beautifully nuanced scenes follow one upon the other . . . [a] gargantuan accomplishment."—Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » My Library: Michael Cunningham
Around the hardcover publication for Michael Cunningham's By Nightfall, I was fortunate enough to produce a short video series with him and his student, the polymath James Franco.
- FSG's Work in Progress

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham was raised in Los Angeles and lives in New York City. He is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World (Picador) and Flesh and Blood. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and Best American Short Stories, and he is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award. The Hours was a New York Times Bestseller, and was chosen as a Best Book of 1998 by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Publishers Weekly.

Michael Cunningham

© Richard Phibbs
Michael Cunningham


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Available Formats and Book Details

The Hours
A Novel
Michael Cunningham


ALA Notable Books - Winner, ALA Stonewall Book Award - Winner, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award - Nominee, National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, Boston Book Review - Nominee, PEN/Faulkner Award - Winner, Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Nominee, Lambda Literary Award - Nominee, Triangle Awards - Winner, Pulitzer Prize - Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
January 2000
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312243029
ISBN10: 0312243022
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
October 2003
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593973483
ISBN10: 1593973489
Audio Run Time: 7:00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
July 1998
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429957946
ISBN10: 1429957948
230 pages

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