All the lives we ever lived


Following her father’s death, Katharine Smyth turned to her favourite novel, Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’, as a way of making sense of her bereavement. Written out of a lifelong admiration for Woolf and her work, Katharine’s story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf’s Cornish coasts and Bloomsbury squares, addressing universal questions about family, loss and homecoming. But ‘All the Lives We Ever Lived’, which braids memoir, biography, and literary criticism, is also an intimate reading of one woman’s talismanic text.

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‘Deeply moving… This is a beautiful book.’ TLS______________________________Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford University 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, she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief. Braiding memoir, literary criticism and biography, Smyth’s story explores universal questions about family, loss and homecoming. Through her inventive, highly personal reading of To the Lighthouse, Smyth guides us towards a new vision of Woolf’s most demanding and rewarding novel. 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.’Beautifully written… a gift to readers drawn to big questions about time, memory, mortality, love and grief’ Wall Street Journal

Additional information

Weight 0.297 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.3 cm










155.937092 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K