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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce

by Colm Toibin

Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce Synopsis

An intimate study of three of Ireland's greatest writers from one of its best-loved contemporary voices __________________ 'A father...is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin takes three of Ireland's greatest writers - Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce - and examines their earliest influences: their fathers. With his inimitable wit and sensitivity, Toibin introduces us to Wilde Senior, the philandering doctor whose libel case prefigured that of his son; the elder Yeats, an impoverished artist who never finished a painting; and to John Stanislaus Joyce, the hard-drinking, storytelling father of James, who couldn't feed his own family. This is an illuminating study of how each of these men cast a long shadow not only over the lives of their famous sons, but over the works for which they are celebrated and cherished. __________________ 'Astonishing to read. Toibin has a hawk-like eye for literary subtleties, and a generosity towards his subjects that is warm' Sunday Times 'Funny, exciting, illuminating, wonderful, so engaging. Tells us more than a little about our own selves along the way' Irish Times 'There is something interesting and insightful on almost every page' Observer 'Sparkling, subtle, witty and often deeply moving . . . A classic' Fintan O'Toole, New Statesman 'Scintillating, imaginative, enlightening and powerfully moving throughout' Roy Foster, Spectator

Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce Press Reviews

A wide-ranging and enlightening study of the potentially stifling family and the individual spirit of the writer * Sunday Times on 'New Ways to Kill Your Mother' * A consistently revealing look at how writers' relationships have influenced their work * Sunday Telegraph on 'New Ways to Kill Your Mother' * Toibin is a supple, subtle thinker, alive to hints and undertones, wary of absolute truths * New Statesman * If there is a more brilliant writer than Toibin working today, I don't know who that would be -- Karen Joy Fowler Subtle, witty and often deeply moving * New Statesman * Searching, funny, generous * Irish Times * Full of insight and intrigue * Observer * Toibin has a hawk-like eye for literary subtleties, and a generosity towards his subjects that is warm and unacademic. * The Sunday Times * Toibin has a hawk-like eye for literary subtleties, and a generosity towards his subjects that is warm and unacademic. * The Sunday Times * There is something interesting and intriguing to be found on almost every page -- Rachel Cooke * Guardian *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241354421
Publication date: 25th July 2019
Author: Colm Toibin
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 192 pages
Categories: Literary essays, Biography: literary, Literary studies: general,

About Colm Toibin

Colm Toibin was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of nine novels including The Master, Brooklyn, The Testament of Mary and Nora Webster. His work has been shortlisted for the Booker three times, has won the Costa Novel Award and the Impac Award. His most recent novel is House of Names. He has also published two collections of stories and many works of non-fiction. He lives in Dublin.

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