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Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of eight novels including Blackwater Lightship, The Master and The Testament of Mary, all three of which were nominated for the Booker Prize, with The Master also winning the IMPAC Award, and Brooklyn, which won the Costa Novel Award. He has also published two collections of stories and many works of non-fiction. His most recent novel is Nora Webster. He lives in Dublin.
A great family drama about a young girl moving from Ireland to New Yok in search of work in the 1950's. Just as she feels life is going somewhere in Brooklyn she has to return to Ireland and the pleas of her family to stay. This is a beautifully told, atmospheric, coming-of-age drama. Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2009. The film adaptation of Brooklyn is due to be released in UK cinemas on Friday 6 November 2015. Click below to view the trailer.
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2014. Nora Webster is the heartbreaking new novel from one of the greatest novelists writing today. It is the late 1960s in Ireland. Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. She is fiercely intelligent, at times difficult and impatient, at times kind, but she is trapped by her circumstances, and waiting for any chance which will lift her beyond them. Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again. As the dynamic of the family changes, she seems both fiercely self-possessed but also a figure of great moral ambiguity, making her one of the most memorable heroines in contemporary fiction. The portrait that is painted in the years that follow is harrowing, piercingly insightful, always tender and deeply true.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary is the moving story of the Virgin Mary, told by a novelist famous for writing brilliantly about the family. From the author of Brooklyn, 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.
'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.
Shortlisted for the Galaxy International Author of the Year 2010. December 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. Good Reading for Christmas by Maureen Lipman... 'The sensitive man in my life will get Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. He portrays the young Irish girl Eilis Lacey by never directly telling the reader what she is thinking. If men want to know more about women, this is the one to get.’ Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2009. Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "A wonderfully-observed story of love and loss." A great family drama about a young girl moving from Ireland to New Yok in search of work in the 1950's. Just as she feels life is going somewhere in Brooklyn she has to return to Ireland and the pleas of her family to stay. This is a beautifully told, atmospheric, coming-of-age drama.
Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2009. Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "A wonderfully-observed story of love and loss." A great family drama about a young girl moving from Ireland to New Yok in search of work in the 1950's. Just as she feels life is going somewhere in Brooklyn she has to return to Ireland and the pleas of her family to stay. This is a beautifully told, atmospheric, coming-of-age drama.
A beautifully written collection of stories about mother/son relationships. Thoroughly absorbing and moving. June 2010 Guest Editor Patrick Gale on Colm Toibin... Admirers of Toibin’s novels won’t feel short-changed here for, like Chekhov and Carver, his grasp of the short story form is so confident that each story packs the emotional wallop of a novel. The only problem is that many are so strong, so moving, that you can’t read them back-to-back but need time off to recover.
Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2006. Now in paperback this Man Booker shortlisted novel follows five years in the life of Henry James directly after his play ‘Guy Domville” flopped on the London stage. An intelligent and moving read.
Between 1990 and 1994, Colm Toibin made a series of trips through Catholic Europe. His journey led him into close contact with people from all walks of life, from priests to politicians, from the intellectually open to the spiritually bigoted. He then set down his impressions in The Sign of the Cross, a beautifully written book filled with personal detail set within its historical context.
In the summer after the Anglo-Irish Agreement, when tension was high in Northern Ireland, Colm Toibin walked along the border from Derry to Newry. Bad Blood is a stark and evocative account of this journey through fear and hatred, and a report on ordinary life and the legacy of history in a bleak and desolate landscape. Toibin describes the rituals - the marches, the funerals, the demonstrations - observed by both communities along the border, and listens to the stories which haunt both sides. With sympathy and insight Bad Blood captures the intimacy of life along one of the most contested strips of land in Western Europe.
Set in Ireland in the 1990s, Colm Toibin's The Blackwater Lightship tells the story of the Devereux family. Dora Devereux, her daughter Lily and her granddaughter Helen - have come together after years of strife and reached an uneasy truce. Helen's adored brother Declan is dying. Two friends join him and the women in a crumbling old house by the sea, where the six of them, from different generations and with different beliefs, must listen and come to terms with one another.
Richard Garay lives alone with his mother, hiding his sexuality from her and from those around him. Stifled by a job he despises, he finds himself willing to take considerable risks. Set in Argentina in a time of great change, The Story of the Night is a powerful and moving novel about a man who, as the Falklands War is fought and lost, finds his own way to emerge into the world.
This work is dedicated to contemporary Irish writing, and consists of a mixture of poetry, prose and photography. The contributors include Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, John McGahern, Edna O'Brien, John Banville, Frank McGuiness, Tom Paulin and Roddy Doyle.
Colm Toibin's The Heather Blazing details the life of Eamon Redmond, a judge in Ireland's high court, a man remote from his wife, his son and daughter and, at least outwardly, from his own childhood. The life he has built for himself, between his work in Dublin and his family's retreat by the sea at Cush, is distinguished by order and by achievement. When, like his beloved coastline, it begins to slip away, he is pulled sharply into the present, and finds himself revisiting his past.
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