Long after the death of Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) described being haunted by her in dreams. Through detailed comparative readings of their fiction, letters and diaries, Smith explores the intense affinity between the two writers. Their particular inflection of modernism is interpreted through their shared experience as "threshold people", familiar with the liminal. Writing at a time when the World War I and changing attitudes to Empire problematized boundaries and definitions of foreignness, we see how the fiction of both Mansfield and Woolf is characterized by moments of disorienting suspension in which the perceiving consciousness sees the familiar made strange, the domestic made menacing.
A perecptive new study of their friendship - Elizabeth Lowry, TLS 16th July 1999