Quarantine Book Club: "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf
Monday evenings, 6 pm to 8 pm Pacific, April 10-May 8, 2023
Virginia Woolf's masterpiece To the Lighthouse is a profound novel about the cleverness of women, the silliness of men, the making of art, and the horrors of time.
It's also a magic trick of sorts, a book made of light—the perfect thing to read during April's rainy season.
We read it in the Quarantine Book Club three years ago, but now we're reading it again (after repeated requests from book club members). If this is your first time reading To the Lighthouse, its brilliance will light you up from the inside. If you have read To the Lighthouse before, this club will help see its genius on a whole new level.
It should be noted: this is not a novel for beginning readers, and or for readers who are primarily interested in plot. This is high modernist literature, dense with philosophical and psychological richness, ideally suited for intermediate and advanced readers.
Book club leader Christopher Frizzelle, who is ridiculously in love with this book, will begin each session with a talk about what we've just read and the backstory of the novel's creation. That will be followed by open discussion, guided by questions sent in advance of each meeting. Participation in discussions is entirely optional, but the conversations in these book clubs are so good, so funny, and so free-wheeling, you may be tempted to join in.
You do not need to read anything before the first session (and if it's your first time reading this novel, you are strongly encouraged not to read the introduction, as it spoils the one crucial surprise in the plot).
And if you miss any of the book-club meetings, no problem: recordings are sent to ticket-holders automatically.
We recommend you get this edition of To the Lighthouse so you have the same page numbers as everyone else during discussions.
Christopher Frizzelle is the former editor-in-chief of The Stranger and the founder of Frizzlit, which produces the Quarantine Book Club and the Silent Reading Party. He has an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College.
If you would like to join this class but price is a barrier, sponsorship funds are available to help make it possible. Please apply here.
If you choose to pay $150 for this club, you are automatically making a $50 donation to the financial assistance fund. If you choose to pay $200 ticket, you are funding a full scholarship. Thank you for making this class accessible to people who would not be able to afford it on their own.
By Kathryn Rathke