In this fascinating, informative, and entertaining collection, internationally acclaimed, award-winning author Colm Tóibín turns his attention to the intricacies of family relationships in literature and writing.
In pieces that range from the importance of aunts (and the death of parents) in the English nineteenth-century novel to the relationship between fathers and sons in the writing of James Baldwin and Barack Obama, Colm Tóibín illuminates not only the intimate connections between writers and their families but also, with wit and rare tenderness, articulates the great joy of reading their work. In the piece on the Notebooks of Tennessee Williams, Tóibín reveals an artist "alone and deeply fearful and unusually selfish" and one profoundly tormented by his sister's mental illness. Through the relationship between W.B. Yeats and his father, or Thomas Mann and his children, or J.M. Synge and his mother,...
In 1950, Katherine Proctor leaves Ireland for Barcelona, determined to escape her family and become a painter. There she meets Miguel, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and begins to build a life with him. But Katherine cannot escape her past, as Michael Graves, a fellow Irish émigré in Spain, forces her to reexamine all her relationships: to her lover, her art, and the homeland she only thought she knew.
The South is a novel of classic themes--of art and exile, and of the seemingly irreconcilable yearnings for love and freedom--to which Colm Tóibín brings a new, passionate sensitivity.
'It is the battle between those who use a toothbrush and those who don't.' So wrote Augusta Gregory to W.B. Yeats; she was referring to the riots at the Abbey Theatre over The Playboy of the Western World, and she knew which side she was on. In this remarkable biographical essay, Colm Toibin examines the contradictions that defined the position of this essential figure in Irish cultural history, The wife of a landlord and MP who had been personally responsible for introducing measures that compounded the misery of the Irish peasantry during the Great Famine, Lady Gregory devoted much of her creative energy to idealizing the same peasantry — while never abandoning the aristocratic hauteur, the social connections or the great house which her birth and marriage had bequeathed her. Early in her writing life, her politics were staunchly unionist — yet she campaigned for the freedom of Egypt from colonial rule. Later she wrote plays celebrating rebellion, but trembled in...
A collection of pieces by contemporary Irish authors on John Milington Synge, from arguement to homage, from the school-room to the stage. Contributors include: offer Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Anthony Cronin,Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton, Joseph O'Connor, Mary O'Malley, Fintan O'Toole, Colm Toibin and Vincent Woods. Includes the One Act Synge play, 'When the Moon has Set'.
I imagined lamplight, shadows, soft voices, clothes put away, the low sound of late news on the radio. And I thought as I crossed the bridge at Baggot Street to face the last stretch of my own journey home that no matter what I had done, I had not done that.' In the captivating stories that make up The Empty Family Colm Toibin delineates with a tender and unique sensibility lives of unspoken or unconscious longing, of individuals, often willingly, cast adrift from their history. From the young Pakistani immigrant who seeks some kind of permanence in a strange town to the Irish woman reluctantly returning to Dublin and discovering a city that refuses to acknowledge her long absence each of Toibin's stories manage to contain whole worlds: stories of fleeing the past and returning home, of family threads lost and ultimately regained.
Eamon Redmond is a judge in Ireland's high court, a completely legal creature who is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Tóibín reconstructs the history of Eamon's relationships--with his father, his first "girl," his wife, and the children who barely know him--and he writes about Eamon's affection for the Irish coast with such painterly skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel of stunning power, "seductive and absorbing" (USA Today).
From the bestselling and award-winning author of Brooklyn and Nora Webster
"If there is a more brilliant writer than Toibin working today, I don't know who that would be" Karen Joy Fowler, Irish Times
"Tóibín creates suspense out of the simplest emotions: fear, love and, most poignantly, regret" TIME
From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Tóibín comes this ambitious, violent and modern retelling of one of our oldest and most enduring stories.
I HAVE BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH THE SMELL OF DEATH.
Judged, despised, cursed by gods she has long since lost faith in, the murderess Clytemnestra tells of the deception of Agamemnon, how he sacrificed her eldest daughter - her beloved Iphigenia - to the Trojan campaign; how Clytemnestra used what power she had, seducing the prisoner Aegisthus, turning the government against its lord; plotting the many long years until...
From one of contemporary literature’s bestselling, critically acclaimed and beloved authors, a magnificent new novel set in Ireland, about a fiercely compelling young widow and mother of four, navigating grief and fear, struggling for hope.
Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.
Nora Webster is a masterpiece in character study by a writer at the zenith of his career, “beautiful and daring” (The New York Times Book Review) and able to “sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations” (USA TODAY). In Nora Webster, Tóibín has created a character as iconic, engaging and memorable as Madame Bovary or Hedda Gabler.