‘Kew Gardens’ by Virginia Woolf

I taught ‘Kew Gardens’ to undergrads and even they liked it. I’ll just quote it: 

Even when she wondered what sort of tea they gave you at Kew, he felt that something loomed up behind her words, and stood vast and solid behind them; and the mist very slowly rose and uncovered–O, Heavens, what were those shapes?–little white tables, and waitresses who looked first at her and then at him; and there was a bill that he would pay with a real two shilling piece, and it was real, all real, he assured himself, fingering the coin in his pocket, real to everyone except to him and to her; even to him it began to seem real; and then–but it was too exciting to stand and think any longer, and he pulled the parasol out of the earth with a jerk and was impatient to find the place where one had tea with other people, like other people.

First published privately in 1919, then in the collection Monday or Tuesday, The Hogarth Press, 1921. Widely available since, including as a standalone edition from Kew Publications, 2015, and in the Selected Short Stories, Penguin Modern Classics, 2000

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