Lighthousekeeping
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Lighthousekeeping

3.83 (6,446 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Lighthousekeeping tells the tale of Silver ("My mother called me Silver. I was born part precious metal, part pirate."), an orphaned girl who is taken in by blind Mr. Pew, the mysterious and miraculously old keeper of a lighthouse on the Scottish coast. Pew tells Silver stories of Babel Dark, a nineteenth-century clergyman. Dark lived two lives: a public one mired in darkness and deceit and a private one bathed in the light of passionate love. For Silver, Dark's life becomes a map through her own darkness, into her own story, and, finally, into love. One of the most original and extraordinary writers of her generation, Jeanette Winterson has created a modern fable about the transformative power of storytelling.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 134 x 200 x 20mm | 281.23g
  • Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc
  • Belmont, CA, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156032899
  • 9780156032896
  • 522,662

Flap copy

Motherless and anchorless, red-headed Silver is taken in by the timeless Mr. Pew, keeper of the Cape Wrath lighthouse, located at the isolated northwestern tip of Scotland. Pew teaches her to "man the light" but more importantly he tells her ancient tales of longing and rootlessness, of ties that bind and of the slippages that occur throughout every life, not least those of the local inhabitants. One local, Babel Dark, a nineteenth-century clergyman who loved one woman but married another, opens like a map that Silver must follow. Caught in her own particular darknesses, she embarks on an Ulyssean sift through the stories we tell ourselves, stories of love and loss, of passion and regret, stories of unending journeys that move through places and times, and the bleak finality of the shores of betrayal.
A story of mutability, of talking birds and stolen books, of Darwin and Stevenson and of the Jekyll and Hyde in all of us, Lighthousekeeping is a way in to the rooms of our own that we secretly inhabit and the lighthouses we strive towards. Jeanette Winterson is one of the most extraordinary and original writers of her generation and this shows her at her lyrical best.

"From the Hardcover edition.
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Back cover copy

"An inspired meditation on myth and language." --The New Yorker

Lighthousekeeping tells the tale of Silver ("My mother called me Silver. I was born part precious metal part pirate."), an orphaned girl who is taken in by the blind Mr. Pew, the mysterious and miraculously old keeper of a lighthouse on the Scottish coast. Pew tells Silver stories of Babel Dark, a nineteenth-century clergyman. Dark lives two lives: a public one mired in darkness and deceit, and a private one bathed in the light of passionate love. For Silver, Dark s life becomes a map through her own darkness, into her own story, and finally, into love.
"Pew's yarns, and later Silver's, are not just about love and loss . . . but about narrative itself, and the ways in which life refuses to conform to the boundaries of a story, just as desire rebels at the limits of the world." Village Voice

"Intimate, romantic, elegant and charmingly literary, Winterson s new novel is a poetic narrative that reaffirms the power of storytelling to provide hope when times are most desperate, and to give life--and light--when matters seem most dark." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Winterson weaves a beautiful and coherent tapestry . . . she achieves a quality that justly can be called visionary." Los Angeles Times

Jeanette Winterson is the author of eight novels, a short-story collection, a book of essays, and a children s picture book. She has won numerous awards, including the Whitbread First Novel Award, the John Llewelyn Rhys Prze, and the E. M. Forster Award. She lives in Oxfordshire and London.
"
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING
"Hypnotic . . . Atmospheric and elusive, Winterson's high-modernist excursion is an inspired meditation on myth and language."
-THE NEW YORKER "A luminous retelling of the Tristan-Isolde legend and an account of the grown-up Silver's pursuit of love . . . Winterson weaves a beautiful and coherent tapestry . . . She achieves a quality that justly can be called visionary."-LOS ANGELES TIMES PRAISE FOR LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING
"Hypnotic . . . Atmospheric and elusive, Winterson's high-modernist excursion is an inspired meditation on myth and language."
-THE NEW YORKER
"A luminous retelling of the Tristan-Isolde legend and an account of the grown-up Silver's pursuit of love . . . Winterson weaves a beautiful and coherent tapestry . . . She achieves a quality that justly can be called visionary."-LOS ANGELES TIMES "For all the talk of love, it often seems that what Winterson is really talking about is desire -- the longing, the pursuit, the potent combination of erotic encounter and absence, all of which she is very good at evoking. . . . There's an appealing, flirty energy to Winterson's narrative voice, which gives her novels a great deal of momentum. . . . The sheer pleasure that she takes in telling stories is infectious."
--"The Globe and Mail
"Merely reading Jeanette Winterson is a mistake. You need to ingest her rhythms and metaphors until the book breathes inside your consciousness. . . . Lighthousekeeping. . . is a magical tale. . . . a fast and engrossing tale of love and betrayal."
--"Elle (Canada)
"Lighthousekeeping is a sheer delight. . . . It is aimed squarely at the heart, not the head. . . . The success of Lighthousekeeping..".lies in its complete disregard for fact in favour of fantasy, and in the seductive richness of its language. . . . Humour and inventiveness are plentiful throughout the book. . . . With Lighthousekeeping," Winterson has produced a novel so abundantly warmhearted that it would seem simply churlish to dislike it."
--"The Scotsman
"Winterson has reverted to the accessible narrative of works such as The Passion. Lighthousekeeping is all the better for it."
--"Financial Times (UK)
"The power of Lighthousekeeping is in its stylistic dynamic between holding itself together with the pared-down precision of its language, each word smoothed into a finely polished pebble, and spilling out in the consciousnesses, narratives and disparate times that bleed seamlessly into each other."
--"The Observer (UK)
Praise for JeanetteWinterson:
"There is always a visionary moment in a Jeanette Winterson novel when someone sets sail and a new world is invoked in tones suffused with ecstasy. . . . She takes us on mythic journeys to shifting cities of the interior."
--"The Times Literary Supplement
"She is a master of her material, a writer in whom great talent deeply abides."
--Muriel Spark
"She is able to walk the tightrope of suspense, making the reader crave the next meticulously sensual detail."
--"Edmonton Journal
"Winterson expresses the range of the human soul."
--"The Vancouver Sun "From the Hardcover edition.
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About Jeanette Winterson

JEANETTE WINTERSON is the author of several works of fiction, essays, and, most recently, a children's picture book. Her numerous awards include the Whitbread First Novel Award, the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award. She lives in Oxfordshire and London.
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Rating details

6,446 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 28% (1,803)
4 37% (2,395)
3 27% (1,712)
2 7% (446)
1 1% (90)
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