Though its fame as an icon of twentieth-century literature rests primarily on the brilliance of its narrative technique and the impressionistic beauty of its prose, "To the Lighthouse "is above all the story of a quest, and as such it possesses a brave and magical universality.
Observed across the years at their vacation house facing the gales of the North Atlantic, Mrs. Ramsay and her family seek to recapture meaning from the flux of things and the passage of time. Though it is the death of Mrs. Ramsay on which the novel turns, her presence pervades every page in a poetic evocation of loss and memory that is also a celebration of domestic life and its most intimate details. Virginia Woolf's great book enacts a powerful allegory of the creative consciousness and its momentary triumphs over fleeting material life.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Virginia Woolf was an influential English author best known for her involvement with the Bloomsbury Group, an association of intellectuals and artists including, John Maynard Keynes and E. M. Forster, who are credited with influencing early twentieth-century literature, criticism, and economics. Woolf became a prolific writer in between the two World Wars, and some of her most famous works, including Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, are now among the most prominent English books of the modern period. A life-long sufferer of depression, Woolf was institutionalized numerous times before taking her own life in 1941.
“To the Lighthouse is one of the greatest elegies in the
English language, a book which transcends time.” –Margaret Drabble
“Without question one of the two or three finest novels of the twentieth century. Woolf comments on the most pressing dramas of our human predicament: war, mortality, family, love. If you’re like me you’ll come back to this book often, always astounded, always moved, always refreshed.” –Rick Moody
“[Woolf’s] people are astoundingly real…The tragic futility, the absurdity, the pathetic beauty, of life–we experience all of this in our sharing of seven hours of Mrs. Ramsay’s wasted or not wasted existence.
We have seen, through her, the world.” –Conrad Aiken