Books by Colm Toibin
NPR stories about Colm Toibin
In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
Colm Toibin's latest novel reimagines the life and death of Jesus through the eyes of his mother. Elegantly subversive, The Testament of Mary examines the nature of truth and storytelling from the point of view of the world's most famous virgin.
Irish writer Colm Toibin's novella recounts familiar stories of the New Testament, as seen through the eyes of Jesus' mother. But this isn't the iconic blushing virgin you're used to seeing. Toibin's Mary is modeled after the fierce heroines of Greek tragedies — and she is filled with anger.
With siblings like William and Henry James, it's easy to be forgotten. But Alice James, the sickly younger sister of two famously brilliant minds, has proved herself unforgettable. In Jean Strouse's biography Alice James, the author revisits a woman who had a salty wit, but a chronic cold.
Have you ever had an experience so profound, you felt like a different person once it was over? Author Ann Brashares recommends a story of heartbreak that remakes the personality of a young teen: The Go-Between, by L.P. Hartley.
Like his last two stunning novels, The Master and Brooklyn, the triple-trinity of stories in Colm Toibin's new collection, The Empty Family, are at once elegiac and elegant.
Will Grozier, who drives a taxi in London, is no ordinary cabbie. NPR's Scott Simon calls him "the best-read man that I have ever encountered in my life" — which is why NPR occasionally calls Grozier up for reading recommendations. Here are Grozier's latest picks, five books that are equally suitable for diving into on the beach or sampling on a short taxi ride.
Many of the picks from Fresh Air's book critic look back at tough times from earlier eras, or lives upended by disaster. The best books of the year include a work of nonfiction that reveals the hidden fantasy land of a founder of American industry, and a novel that doesn't apologize for the bad behavior of its characters. Plus, a bonus mystery pick.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan says the most remarkable aspect of Colm Toibin's new novel is its heroine, a "plain Jane" Irish immigrant with limited options.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan gives us her picks for the best holiday books of 2004. Her choices range from literary thrillers to a new biography of Ben Franklin.
Irish writer Colm Toibin's new novel imagines the interior life of famed American novelist Henry James. James burned his personal papers before his death in 1916 in an attempt to keep his private life private. Tom Vitale reports.