All the Lives We Ever Lived

Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf

Katharine Smyth

RRP: £9.99

5 March 2020

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781786492869

RRP: £17.99

7 February 2019

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781786492852

RRP: £4.99

7 February 2019

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781786492876

Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf’s modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death – a calamity that claimed her favourite person – she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief.

Smyth’s story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf’s Cornish shores and Bloomsbury squares, exploring universal questions about family, loss and homecoming. Through her inventive, highly personal reading of To the Lighthouse and her artful adaptation of its groundbreaking structure, Smyth guides us towards a new vision of Woolf’s most demanding and rewarding novel – and crafts an elegant reminder of literature’s ability to clarify and console.

Braiding memoir, literary criticism and biography, All the Lives We Ever Lived is a wholly original debut: a love letter from a daughter to her father, and from a reader to her most cherished author.