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About the book
  • Published: 2 May 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099472032
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $32.99
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Sixty Lights


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Set in the nineteenth century, this is a powerful tale of a young woman's emotional and physical journey, and a touching exploration of the legacy created by one's actions in life.

'Photography has without doubt made her a seer; she is a woman of the future, someone leaning into time, beyond others, precarious, unafraid to fall...'
This is the story of Lucy Strange, a photographer, while the art is in its infancy, in the 1870s, who exists in an extraordinarily heightened state of seeing and imagining. Her tale is told in sixty illuminated parts - using candlelight, flames, lightning, gas-lamps, mirrors, magic lanterns and, most mysteriously, lit faces and bodies. In a contracted, almost modernist form, SIXTY LIGHTS tracks Lucy's life from her childhood in Australia, to her stormy adolescence in England and India and finally to her death in London at the age of twenty-three. It is a life abbreviated, but not a life diminished: she is a remarkable character, forthright, gifted, passionate and canny. SIXTY LIGHTS plays powerfully with Victorian tropes and texts - orphans, inheritances, Great Expectations - setting them against the technological revolution in seeing that is inspired by photography. Written with astute imagistic precision, the story is deeply layered, fluctuating between past, present and future. This is an impressive UK debut from a prize-winning Australian author.

  • Pub date: 2 May 2005
  • ISBN: 9780099472032
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Gail Jones

Gail Jones lives in Sydney and teaches at the University of Western Sydney. Her books have won numerous literary awards in Australia. She is the author of two collections of short stories and five novels including Sixty Lights which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Dreams of Speaking which was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize, and Sorry which was longlisted for the Orange Prize.

Gail Jones is the author of two short-story collections, a critical monograph, and the novels Black Mirror, Sixty Lights, Dreams of Speaking, Sorry, Five Bells and A Guide to Berlin. Three times shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, her prizes include the WA Premier's Award for Fiction, the Nita B. Kibble Award, the Steele Rudd Award, the Age Book of the Year Award, the Adelaide Festival Award for Fiction and the ASAL Gold Medal. She has also been shortlisted for international awards, including the IMPAC and the Prix Femina. Her fiction has been translated into nine languages.

Also by Gail Jones

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Praise for Sixty Lights

“'a very special novel indeed...'”

Tom Boncza-Tomaszewski, Independent on Sunday

“'playful, emotive'”

Emma Hagestadt, Independent


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