Each of the nine stories in this beautifully written, intensely intimate collection centers on a transformative moment that alters the delicate balance of power between mother and son, or changes the way they perceive one another. With exquisite grace and eloquence, Tóibín writes of men and women bound by convention, by unspoken emotions, by the stronghold of the past. Many are trapped in lives they would not choose again, if they ever chose at all.
A man buries his mother and converts his grief to desire in one night. A famous singer captivates an audience, yet cannot beguile her own estranged son. And in "A Long Winter," Colm Tóibín's finest piece of cction to date, a young man searches for his mother in the snow-covered mountains where she has sought escape from the husband who controls and confines her.
Winner of numerous awards for his fifth novel, The Master -- including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award -- Tóibín brings to this stunning first collection an acute understanding of human frailty and longing. These are haunting, profoundly moving stories by a writer who is himself a master.
Colm Tóibín's novel The Master, about the American expatriate writer Henry James, was named one of the ten best books of the year by TheNew York Times Book Review, TheWashington Post, TheBoston Globe,TheSan Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, and many other periodicals. It won the Los Angeles Times Prize and was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Tóibín is the author of ten novels, including the bestselling Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award, two collections of short stories, and many works of criticism. Tóibín is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University.
"It's truly remarkable that a writer of Toibin's great felicity, immense seriousness and general large awareness -- a writer so naturally gifted as a novelist -- can deliver short stories of such subtle empathy and brilliance. He's dazzling." -- Richard Ford
"Tóibín is a writer of extraordinary emotional clarity....These are beautiful stories, beautifully crafted."
-- Literary Review (uk)
"Tóibín is a subtle, intelligent and deeply felt writer."