The Blackwater Lightship

The Blackwater Lightship It is Ireland in the early s 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 th

  • Title: The Blackwater Lightship
  • Author: Colm Tóibín
  • ISBN: 9780743203319
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 resonantIt 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 T ib n explores the nature of love and the complex emotions inside a family at war with itself.

    • Ä The Blackwater Lightship î Colm Tóibín
      451 Colm Tóibín

    About "Colm Tóibín"

    1. Colm Tóibín

      Colm Toibin was born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in 1955 He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978 Out of his experience in Barcelona be produced two books, the novel The South shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times Aer Lingus First Fiction Award and Homage to Barcelona , both published in 1990 When he returned to Ireland in 1978 he worked as a journalist for In Dublin , Hibernia and The Sunday Tribune , becoming features editor of In Dublin in 1981 and editor of Magill, Ireland s current affairs magazine, in 1982 He left Magill in 1985 and travelled in Africa and South America His journalism from the 1980s was collected in The Trial of the Generals 1990 His other work as a journalist and travel writer includes Bad Blood A Walk Along the Irish Border 1987 and The Sign of the Cross Travels in Catholic Europe 1994 His other novels are The Heather Blazing 1992, winner of the Encore Award The Story of the Night 1996, winner of the Ferro Grumley Prize The Blackwater Lightship 1999, shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Prize and the Booker Prize and made into a film starring Angela Lansbury The Master 2004, winner of the Dublin IMPAC Prize the Prix du Meilleur Livre the LA Times Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Booker Prize Brooklyn 2009, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year His short story collections are Mothers and Sons 2006, winner of the Edge Hill Prize and The Empty Family 2010 His play Beauty in a Broken Place was performed at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin in 2004 His other books include The Modern Library the 200 Best Novels Since 1950 with Carmen Callil Lady Gregory s Toothbrush 2002 Love in a Dark Time Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar 2002 and All a Novelist Needs Essays on Henry James 2010 He has edited The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction His work has been translated into thirty languages In 2008, a book of essays on his work Reading Colm Toibin , edited by Paul Delaney, was published He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster and from University College Dublin He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books In 2006 he was appointed to the Arts Council in Ireland He has twice been Stein Visiting Writer at Stanford University and also been a visiting writer at the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin He is currently Leonard Milberg Lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University.

    651 thoughts on “The Blackwater Lightship”

    1. It s the story of an Irish family that is as fractured as it could possibly be, brought reluctantly together by the tragedy of a son brother dying of Aids Heartbreaking and devastating, and it will leave you drained at the end.4.5 stars for what may be Toibin s best novel.



    2. Declan, approaching 30, is dying of AIDS in Southern Ireland His father had died young too, of cancer He wants to see that part of the coast he remembers as a child when he and his sister Helen stayed with their grandparents, throughout their father s prolonged final illness at hospital in Dublin It is in these waters that the Blackwater Lightship once shone, a secondary source of light alongside the powerful Tusker lighthouse.His mettlesome granny, Dora, now widowed, is host in her remote and [...]



    3. There are three contemporary authors writing in English whom I find extraordinarily engaging Cormac McCarthy, Tim Winton and Colm T ib n They are all stylistically brilliant and all three weave worlds that address significant issues regarding the human condition All, also, have received significant recognition for the quality of their production Among that recognition, McCarthy by Pulitzer Winton and T ib n , by Man Booker.Cormac McCarthy s writing is probably the unconventional He is less atte [...]


    4. In The Story of the Night, Colm T ib n told the stories of men living with AIDS in New York in the late 80s In The Blackwater Lightship, he transposes this storyline to Ireland in the late 90s, a vastly different setting Helen, a school principal, discovers that her brother Declan is in hospital with AIDS She has to work out how to tell their mother and grandmother about his diagnoses which he s apparently had for years Published just six years after Ireland s decision to decriminalise homosexua [...]



    5. An understated account of how a broken family begins to heal itself in the context of the return of a son dying of AIDS Helen, a teacher in the Dublin area, helps install her beloved brother Declan into the care of her mother and grandmother in a seashore village in southeastern Ireland The occasion makes her deal with the nearly decade long estrangement dating from the time when her father got cancer and her mother effectively took him away from her and her brother during his months of illness [...]


    6. In 1993, homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland and it is also important to note that at this time, the world was in the midst of the AIDS epidemic This is the backdrop against which The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin takes place It was the end of another school year and Helen, a school principal in Dublin, was looking forward to a holiday with her husband and two young children That holiday, however, would have to wait Paul, a longtime friend of Helen s brother Declan, arrived on her [...]




    7. Helen lives a predictable, pleasant life, until suddenly a stranger turns up and tells her that her brother is sick is, in fact, dying of AIDS in a nearby hospital Declan wants to stay in their grandmother s cottage while he recuperates from his latest hospital stay His sister, mother, and grandmother are thus thrown together in a small sea shore cottage, forced into close quarters after a decade of estrangement Two of his friends come to keep him company and look after his health, causing furth [...]


    8. In the house by a cliff of the southern coast of Ireland, a reluctant family comes together around a brother, son and grandson, who is dying of aids The three women sister, mother and grandmother find out about Declan s preference and his illness all at once and try to deal with the facts each in her own way But the closet seems to be filled with many other skeletons besides Declan s homosexuality There are memories of the past, the relationships and unresolved conflicts between the three women [...]


    9. 3.5 starsHelen is a school principal living in Dublin She is married with two children She is preparing to go on Holiday with her family in the beginning of the book Then she learns that her brother Declan has suffered from AIDS for years without telling her Declan asks her if she would tell their Mother and Grandmother his diagnosis Helen, who has been estranged from her Mother and Grandmother for years is put in a position to contact the women but to also deal with past issues especially her f [...]


    10. my coverDescription It is Ireland in the early 1990s Helen, her mother Lily, and her grandmother Dora have come together, after a decade of estrangement, to tend to Helen s beloved brother, Declan, who is dying of AIDS Under the crumbling roof of Dora s old house, Declan s two friends join the women as each waits for the end The six of them, from different generations and with different beliefs, are forced to plumb the shoals of their own histories and to come to terms with each other The Blackw [...]


    11. After Brooklyn and Testament of Mary, Toibin is at the top of my list of feminist writers This novel focuses on a family and friends brought together by impending death Helen s brother, Declan, is dying of Aids He decides he wants to spend a few days at his maternal grandmother s house with Helen, his mother and a couple of friends Helen has been estranged from her mother and grandmother for over a decade, and Declan had never come out to his family This big secret bursts out of the closet, brin [...]


    12. This is is a clear eyed, beautiful book Toibin never tries too hard His characters reveal themselves in conversation that is pitch perfect The difficult parts of living and dying are not side stepped, but there is humor too because this is about family and all the messiness that entails.



    13. Colm T ib n never writes an easy story to read there always seems to be some small element that reaches in speaks directly to me Helen is a mom a wife a teacher, seems to have a loving marriage Her husband 2 sons head out for the start of a vacation Helen is looking forward to some alone time.a visitor arrives things change We see a week or so in the lives of Helen, her mom, her grandmother, her brother a few other people In that week we actually get a little glimpse of a lifetime with Helen An [...]


    14. This beautiful novel chronicles a week in the lives of its characters as they try to comfort their mutual connection, Declan, a man in his late 20s dying of AIDS and running out of time to see long standing conflicts be put aside between his sister, mother and grandmother, all of whom are estranged from one other for over a decade because of reasons even they cannot quite articulate or understand Aided by two friends who ve been looking after him long before his family suspected anything was wro [...]


    15. Early 90s Declan is dying and T ib n masterfully brings together the women in his life sister, mother, grandmother , forces them to cope with him being gay and having AIDS, throws in a couple of best friends and delivers an absolutely amazing story of hardship, friendship and loss I love this guy to the moon and back.


    16. It is very difficult to find fault with a book like this The writing is beautiful, being elegant, restrained, sparse and poetic all at once In fact Colm Toibin says in one of his perfectly formed precise sentences, than most other authors can say in whole paragraphs.This is the story of a family that has grown apart over the years, and that is reluctantly brought back together again by a single event Is not a new premise for a novel, but in Colm s writing a fresh light is shone on it and the si [...]


    17. A young man in Ireland is dying of AIDS and he wants to spend his last days in his grandmother s seaside house where he has fond childhood memories His gay friends visit and or less live in while they care for him His female family members hover over the dying man as well mother, sister and grandmother The relatives all have issues with each other and the main character s illness serves to bring the interrelations among the three women to the fore This story is told mainly by the sister The Iri [...]


    18. Not a good idea to finish the last 20 pages of this story at 5 00 AM before work I m wrecked and I look like hell The novel was wondrous I loved it and I ll review later.



    19. I don t have any fancy quotes for this, no real insights All I can say that this was a very rough book for me to read It was depressing, and if it was any longer, I probably wouldn t have been able to read it in one sitting like I did This book was made to be a one sitting read So subtle, so quiet It wasn t until halfway through I realized that I had to finish this book today, no matter what it did to my emotions.Ireland, to me, is not a conservative country Then again, I know it s Catholic and [...]


    20. The Black water Lightship is a story about there always being than two sides to any story, yours and the other persons Helen and Declan s Father died when they were young During his illness they stayed with their Granny and Grandad, were unaware their father was dying or why specifically they were there Experience comes down to ones perception of any given situation and without meaningful dialogue or clear boundaries to gain understanding, position is taken and can be intractable from all sides [...]


    21. Another Colm Toibin book I ve really enjoyed reading He writes so well, and it s so easy to slip into the world of the characters of the novel.The setting is early 1990s Ireland and the majority of the novel is set on the coast, in the house of Dora, mother to Lily and grandmother to Helen and Declan Declan is unwell, seriously so, and wants to spend time at his grandmother s house with his family and close friends around him It becomes clear that the relationship between the children, Helen and [...]


    22. I can t say i liked this book I felt irritated with the women I thought some of the most interesting characters made their appearance at the beginning at a party and never came back.As a study of mother daughter relations over generations it seemed over simplistic.I felt outside of all the characters especially Declin, woh was pivotal to the reunion.The beginning captured me, then I felt let down Maybe I am missing something.


    23. An early Toibin masterfully handeled difficult subject I bought it on a whim because of its beautiful cover old faults die hard , so did not know at all what awaited me Am very grateful to have ordered it so spontaneously, as it would have been unforgiveable to have missed out on this novel by a favourite author, which deservedly made it unto the Booker Shortlist of 1999 Toibin very memorably tells of a time when to be diagnosed with AIDS was a death sentence and how a family then may have had t [...]


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