A collectible hardcover edition of Virginia Woolf's masterpiece, featuring a new foreword by Patricia Lockwood
A Penguin Vitae Edition
Every summer, Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey and their eight children vacation on Scotland’s idyllic Isle of Skye, surrounded by artist friends. They expect these summers will go on forever, but with the arrival of World War I, they are forced to reckon with change, loss, and time’s unstoppable march, before making, years later, the long-awaited return to Skye and to its towering lighthouse. An intimate, impressionistic meditation on memory, grief, the brutalities of war, and the tensions of domestic life, revolutionary for its use of stream of consciousness and shifting points of view, and infused with a singular poetic essence, To the Lighthouse is both a landmark in modernist writing and one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century.
Penguin Vitae—loosely translated as "Penguin of one's life"—is a deluxe hardcover series from Penguin Classics celebrating a dynamic and diverse landscape of classic fiction and nonfiction from seventy-five years of classics publishing. Penguin Vitae provides readers with beautifully designed classics that have shaped the course of their lives, and welcomes new readers to discover these literary gifts of personal inspiration, intellectual engagement, and creative originality.
About the Author
Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), one of the great twentieth-century authors, was at the center of the Bloomsbury Group and is a major figure in the history of literary feminism and modernism. She published her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1915, and between 1925 and 1931 produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, including Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism, and biography, including the playfully subversive Orlando (1928) and the passionate feminist essay A Room of One's Own (1929).
Patricia Lockwood (foreword) is the author of the novel No One Is Talking About This, a 2021 Booker Prize finalist and one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2021, and the memoir Priestdaddy, one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2017, as well as the poetry collections Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals and Balloon Pop Outlaw Black. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and the London Review of Books, where she is a contributing editor.
Hermione Lee (introduction) is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Oxford University and the author of biographies of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and Penelope Fitzgerald. She was made a Dame for services to literary scholarship.
Stella McNichol (editor, notes) was the author of several critical studies on Virginia Woolf.
“I put off To the Lighthouse for a long time, in order to live in delicious anticipation of it. . . . Yet this pleasure can be drawn out for only so long; if you are a reader, the morning comes when you must greet it along with the sun. . . . There is never the sense, opening To the Lighthouse, that it could have been anything else. It opens with the weather, just like the real day. It rises to some occasion, wakes with the lark to meet the weekend―moves ‘with an indescribable air of expectation,’ because it is going to meet someone around the corner, and with the shock of encounter you sometimes feel in reading, you find that it is you.” ―Patricia Lockwood, from the Foreword
“I reread this book every once in a while, and every time I do I find it more capacious and startling. It’s so revolutionary and so exquisitely wrought that it keeps evolving on its own somehow, as if it’s alive.” —Alison Bechdel
“I know of no more gut-wrenching, soaring prose about shared consciousness, mortality and water. Truly a book for the cradle to the grave.” —Maggie Nelson
“This novel is just astonishing in its depth and reach and beauty. There is really nothing else like it, and no matter how many times I read it I find myself shocked at what Woolf was able to do.” —Meg Wolitzer
“A classic for a reason. My mind was warped into a new shape by her prose and it will never be the same again.” —Greta Gerwig
“My admiration for this book is complete. It is as beautiful, poignant, and ruthless as anything I have ever read.” —Siri Hustvedt
“Woolf’s groundbreaking novel is still one of the best available accounts of self-mythologizing middle-class family life and its oppressive construction of male and female identity.” —Rachel Cusk
“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
“She was doing with language something like what Jimi Hendrix does with a guitar.” —Michael Cunningham
“Radiant . . . I think that beyond being about the very nature of reality, it is itself a vision of reality.” —Eudora Welty
“Thrillingly introspective.” —The Independent
“At the head of all Virginia Woolf’s work.” —The New York Times