Chairperson: Brendan Barrington
"Tóibín’s genius is that he makes it impossible for us to walk away."
The New Yorker
The emigré experience is endemic to the Irish narrative, and has been navigated in literary form by a host of writers from Joyce to Joseph O'Connor.
Brooklyn – the latest novel from Booker-nominated writer and critic Colm Tóibín – is a tale of departing and returning, of exile and home. When Ellis Lacey leaves her small town life in 1950s Enniscorthy for an unfamiliar Brooklyn, isolation and uncertainty are her only companions. Yet as the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life, she slowly finds a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news from home forces her back to Ireland – to new possibilities – yet also to a terrible choice: between love and personal freedom, and the bonds of duty.
In conversation with Brendan Barrington, the best-selling author of Blackwater Lightship and The Master discusses his luminous new novel, a work of devastating emotional power that underscores his status as a peerless writer of narrative virtuosity.
Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. His novels include The South, The Heather Blazing, Blackwater Lightship and The Master (shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize and winner of the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award). His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona and The Sign of the Cross.