Colm Toibin's picture

Colm Tóibín

Ireland (b.1955)

Colm Tóibín (born 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland) is an Irish novelist and critic.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Historical, Mystery

Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
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The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (1999) : The Blackwater Lightship
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel nominee (2001) : The Blackwater Lightship
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2004) : The Master
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel winner (2006) : The Master
Costa Book Awards Best Novel winner (2009) : Brooklyn
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2009) : Brooklyn
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel nominee (2011) : Brooklyn
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2013) : The Testament of Mary
Costa Book Awards Best Novel nominee (2014) : Nora Webster
Rathbone Folio Prize Best Book nominee (2015) : Nora Webster

Colm Tóibín recommends
Death and Nightingales (1992)
Eugene McCabe
"Clearly one of the great Irish masterpieces of the century."
Monkey Man (2005)
Stephen Price
"A slick clever novel that makes you laugh out loud."
Lost City Radio (2007)
Daniel Alarcón
"A gripping and tense political fable by one of the most exciting and ambitious writers to emerge in recent years."
American Youth (2007)
Phil LaMarche
"Gripping and memorable."
Barnacle Love (2008)
Anthony De Sa
"[These stories] have immense emotional and powerful truths."
Cockroach (2008)
Rawi Hage
"[A] dark and uncompromising vision. [Cockroach] offers a version of an émigré underground which is original, raw and brave."
Yesterday's Weather (2008)
Anne Enright
"Anne Enright's style is as sharp and brilliant as Joan Didion's; the scope of her understanding is as wide as Alice Munro's. . . her vision of Ireland is as brave and original as Edna O'Brien's."
John the Revelator (2009)
Peter Murphy
"An absolutely wonderful book... so fresh and so contemporary, so original and so disturbing and brave."
To the End of the Land (2010)
David Grossman
"A masterpiece... One of the few novels that feel as though they have made a difference in the world."
Open City (2011)
Teju Cole
"A novel to savour and treasure."
The Absolutist (2011)
John Boyne
"A wonderful, sad, tender book."
Say Her Name (2011)
Francisco Goldman
"A beautiful love story, and an extraordinary story of loss."
Solace (2011)
Belinda McKeon
"A novel of quiet power, filled with moments of carefully-told truth... this book will appeal to readers both young and old."
The Dirty Dust (2015)
Máirtín Ó Cadhain
"...the greatest novel to be written in the Irish language, and among the best books to come out of Ireland in the twentieth century."
You Have Me to Love (2015)
Jaap Robben
"You Have Me to Love is an intense and dramatic novel filled with meticulous use of detail and a forensic psychological accuracy. Its power comes from the fierce energy of the narrative structure, the way of handling silence and pain, and the ability to confront the darkest areas of experience with clear-eyed sympathy and care. Jaap Robben handles delicate, dangerous material with subtlety and sympathy, but also with a visionary sense of truth that is masterly and unforgettable."
Gull (2016)
Glenn Patterson
"One of the best contemporary Irish novelists."
Darke (2017)
(James Darke, book 1)
Rick Gekoski
"A supreme example of a natural and skilled storyteller."
Midwinter Break (2017)
Bernard MacLaverty
"Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms - to an honest reckoning - with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain. Full of scenes that are rendered with exquisite accuracy and care, allowing the most detailed physical descriptions to be placed against the possibility of a rich spiritual life, this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers."
West (2018)
Carys Davies
"West has all the stark power and immediacy of a folk-tale or a legend. It is also structured with great artistry, a beguiling sense of form and pace, and a depth in the way the characters are created, making clear that Carys Davies is a writer of immense talent."
Last Stories (2018)
William Trevor
"In the first few paragraphs of a story he could set an entire scene without seeming to, working on details, small moments, odd thoughts. As in the work of Alice Munro, there often seemed to be very little happening in his fiction, but then he was capable of offering the reader a sense of an immense drama."
A Luminous Republic (2020)
Andrés Barba
"A Luminous Republic has all the stark power of a folk-tale or a fable. It also raises concerns that are pressing and contemporary—about the function and source of language, about public paranoia and hysteria, about the idea of community and how information spreads. At the book’s center is a moving personal story about memory and loss. The narrative is engaging, at times playful, wholly compelling."
Hades, Argentina (2021)
Daniel Loedel
"An astonishingly powerful novel about the complex nature of guilt. It sets the personal against the political with real emotional accuracy and sharp narrative skill."
The Five Wounds (2021)
Kirstin Valdez Quade
"The characters in this engrossing novel are created in luminous and memorable detail. Just as the pacing is perfect, so too are the tact and care with which each scene is made. Kirstin Valdez Quade, by concentrating on the truth of small moments, has brought a whole world into focus."
Barcelona Dreaming (2021)
Rupert Thomson
"The three stories in Barcelona Dreaming are connected by ingeniously created threads, but also by a tone that is ironic, observant, alert to the complexity of the characters’ motives and desires. The book is set in the modern city of Barcelona, its atmosphere invoked with intimate knowledge and a matchless sense of place."
Daughters of The Labyrinth (2021)
Ruth Padel
"A sumptuous and sensuous evocation of Crete...its landscape and culture."
A Passage North (2021)
Anuk Arudpragasam
"Written with scrupulous attention to nuance and detail, A Passage North captures the rich interior of its protagonist's mind but also contemporary Sri Lanka itself, war-scarred, traumatized. At its center is an exquisite form of noticing, a way of rendering consciousness and handling time that connects Arudpragasam to the great novelists of the past."
The Woman from Uruguay (2021)
Pedro Mairal
"The Woman from Uruguay is at once a picaresque comedy and a penetrating study of a man on the verge of middle age who is trying to deal with fatherhood, money, marriage and love. Lucas's vivid presence in this book is created by his rich way of observing the world. As he travels from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, over seventeen hours, a whole world comes into being, a complex sensibility gets dramatized."

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