Author: Colm Tóibín

Information about the author.

Works

Book:The Master

The Master

Colm Tóibín

Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. Brilliant and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America’s first intellectual families two decades before the Civil War. James left his country to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.

In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and longing, the hope and despair of a man who never married, never resolved his sexual identity, and whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of Tóibín’s portrait of James is riveting. Time and again, James, a master of psychological subtlety in his fiction, proves blind to his own heart and incapable of reconciling his dreams of passion with his own fragility. …[more]

Book:Brooklyn: A Novel

Brooklyn: A Novel

Colm Tóibín

It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady’s intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation.

Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life—until she begins to realize that she has found a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news comes from home that forces her back to Enniscorthy, not to the constrictions of her old life, but to new possibilities which conflict deeply with the life she has left behind in Brooklyn.

In the quiet character of Eilis Lacey, Colm Tóibín has created one of fiction’s most memorable heroines and in Brooklyn, a luminous novel of devastating power. Tóibín demonstrates once again his astonishing range and that he is a true master of nuanced prose, emotional depth, and narrative virtuosity.

Book:The Blackwater Lightship

The Blackwater Lightship: A Novel

Colm Tóibín

A beautifully written, deeply resonant story about three generations of an estranged family reuniting to mourn a tragic, untimely death—from the author Nick Hornby called “one of the most promising novelists writing in the English language.”

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 in Ireland, Declans’ two friends join the women as each waits for the end. All 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.

In spare, luminous prose, Toibin explores the nature of love and the complex emotion inside an unhappy family. The Blackwater Lightship is a novel about morals and manners, and the clashes of culture and personality. But most of all, it is a novel about stories, and their incomparable capacity to heal the deepest wounds.

Book:The Testament of Mary

The Testament of Mary

Colm Tóibín

From the author of Brooklyn comes a short, powerful novel about one of the most famous mothers in history.

In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son’s brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.

As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.

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