Books by Colm Tóibín

THE TESTAMENT OF MARY by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 13, 2012

"A work suffused with mystery and wonder."
A novella that builds to a provocative climax, one that is as spiritually profound as its prose is plainspoken. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 12, 2012

"Though there's no truly coherent thesis here, it's a pleasure to watch Tóibín rove through 19th- and 20th-century literary history."
Irish novelist and essayist Tóibín (Brooklyn, 2009, etc.) investigates how writers' classic works were inspired by their families—and sometimes in spite of them. Read full book review >
THE EMPTY FAMILY by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

"Likely to rank with the best story collections of the year."
The Irish-born, award-winning novelist reconfirms his mastery of the short story. Read full book review >
BROOKLYN by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2009

"A fine and touching novel, persuasive proof of Tóibín's ever-increasing skills and range."
This plaintive sixth novel from the Booker-nominated Irish author (Mothers and Sons, 2008, etc.) is both akin to his earlier fiction and a somewhat surprising hybrid. Read full book review >
MOTHERS AND SONS by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 2, 2007

"They're grand storytellers, these Irish, and when he's at his best, Mrs. Tóibín's boy Colm is the equal of any of them."
Constraints and conflicts bred by family relations are vigorously dramatized in this first story collection from the Booker-nominated Dublin author (The Master, 2004, etc.). Read full book review >
THE MASTER by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 2, 2004

"A somewhat stately novel that will appeal most to readers who admire James's subtle, stylistically rich, demanding prose. As such, it's a formidably brilliant performance."
The Irish author (The Blackwater Lightship, 2000, etc.) finds a great subject in the life and sensibility of ineffably cosmopolitan American author Henry James. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 29, 2002

"Toibín expresses a companionable solace here, but at what a price. These artists create in him "an urge to have gay lives represented as tragic, an urge I know I should repress.""
An exploration of gay sensibility in literature, read artfully between the lines and mapping emotional attachments. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2002

"Socioeconomic surgery on a national scale, with no anesthetic."
Booker shortlistee Tóibín (The Blackwater Lightship, 2000, etc.) collaborates with historian Ferriter (Dublin City Univ.) to introduce and annotate contemporary documents from Ireland's devastating mid-19th-century famine. Read full book review >
THE BLACKWATER LIGHTSHIP by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 22, 2000

"In some ways reminiscent of playwright O'Neill's familial Sturm und Drang, this masterfully intense tale of woe and redemption has much to say about the primal forces that shape us."
A dynamic, many-tendriled drama (on the Booker short list last year) by Irish writer Tóibín (The Story of the Night, 1997, etc.) shapes a complex view of intergenerational conflict at once modern and timeless, as a family assemble on the coast of Ireland to tend to one of their own, a young man losing ground in his struggle with AIDS. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2000

Any anthology that weighs in at over 1,000 pages is aiming for broad appeal, and any 1,000-page anthology of Irish fiction will probably achieve it. Read full book review >

THE STORY OF THE NIGHT by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1997

A brooding, resonant novel set in Argentina. Irish writer Tóibín (The Heather Blazing, 1993; the nonfiction The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe, 1995; etc.) is fascinated with the ways that suppressed feelings can shape and deform character, and the often destructive and always disruptive manner in which long repressed emotions can emerge. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 1995

"A very Irish view of Europe and Catholicism, likely to appeal to those whose inner search also takes them beyond themselves."
An Irish novelist (The Heather Blazing, 1993, etc.) and journalist reports on his visits to centers of Catholic devotion in Europe, as he attempts to make sense of his own conflicted relationship with the faith he has abandoned. Read full book review >
THE HEATHER BLAZING by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"But, no, the moment passes—another in a series of missed opportunities that doom the novel."
Tóibín's debut (The South, 1991) followed its heroine, a married Irishwoman on the lam, through a cycle of gain and loss; his downbeat second novel, the portrait of a Dublin judge, is all loss, no gain. Read full book review >
THE SOUTH by Colm Tóibín
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"But, no, the moment passes—another in a series of missed opportunities that doom the novel."
Tóibín's debut (The South, 1991) followed its heroine, a married Irishwoman on the lam, through a cycle of gain and loss; his downbeat second novel, the portrait of a Dublin judge, is all loss, no gain. Read full book review >