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The Core Curriculum

Lighthousekeeping, by Jeannette Winterson, 2004

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Lighthousekeeping, by Jeannette Winterson, 2004.

British author Jeannette Winterson's 2004 novel Lighthousekeeping is strongly influenced by the setting and time-spanning thematics of its predecessor, To the Lighthouse.

The New Yorker's review of the novel conveys this connection:
"In her sea-soaked and hypnotic eighth novel, Winterson turns the tale of an orphaned young girl and a blind old man into a fable about love and the power of storytelling. Silver, abandoned after the death of her mother in the Scottish town of Salts—a 'rock-bitten, sand-edged shell of a town'—is taken in by Pew, a yarn-spinning lighthouse keeper 'as old as a unicorn.' In the darkness of the lighthouse, he tells never-ending stories about the tortured life of a nineteenth-century clergyman, formerly a minister in Salts, and gradually, it seems, Silver contributes stories of her own. Atmospheric and elusive, Winterson's high-modernist excursion is an inspired meditation on myth and language." ("Briefly Noted," New Yorker, 2 May 2005)


Vaughn Andrews and Onne van der Wal/Corbis, Lighthousekeeping book cover, Harcourt books, 2004. Via

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