The Blackwater Lightship (Paperback)

A Novel

By Colm Toibin

Scribner, 9780743203319, 288pp.

Publication Date: June 5, 2001

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (8/1/2000)

List Price: 17.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Helen, her mother, Lily, and her grandmother, Dora have come together to tend to Helen's brother, Declan, who is dying of AIDS. With Declan's two friends, the six of them are forced to plumb the shoals of their own histories and to come to terms with each other.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Blackwater Lightship is a deeply resonant story about three generations of an estranged family reuniting to mourn an untimely death. In spare, luminous prose, Colm Tóibín explores the nature of love and the complex emotions inside a family at war with itself. Hailed as "a genuine work of art" (Chicago Tribune), this is a novel about the capacity of stories to heal the deepest wounds.

About the Author

Colm Tóibín is the author of nine novels, including The Blackwater Lightship; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections, and Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know, a look at three nineteenth-century Irish authors. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.

Praise For The Blackwater Lightship: A Novel

Francine Prose Elle Beautifully crafted...spare and devastating...

The Wall Street Journal The Blackwater Lightship is the most perfect work on the Booker list...The prose is economical and deft, and the book is rich with entrancing stories.

Jim Marks The Washington Post Book World ...supple, beautifully modulated prose, complex relationships and careful construction...a powerful and absorbing novel.

Mark Levin Men's Journal Tóibín is a superb technician with a brave soul. The Blackwater Lightship is a great and humanizing novel.

Robert Sullivan Vogue Tóibín writes with high-voltage restraint.

Judy Lightfoot The Seattle Times So much is here and you long to grasp it whole...the best new novel this reviewer has read all year.