From the internationally celebrated author of Brooklyn and The Master, and winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, comes a stunning new book of fiction.
In the captivating stories that make up The Empty Family, Colm Tóibín delineates with a tender and unique sensibility, lives of unspoken or unconscious longing, of individuals often willingly cast adrift from their history. From the young Pakistani immigrant who seeks some kind of permanence in a strange town, to the Irish woman reluctantly returning to Dublin and discovering a city that refuses to acknowledge her long absence, each of Tóibín's stories manage to contain whole worlds: stories of fleeing the past and returning home, of family threads lost and ultimately regained.
Like Tóibín's celebrated novels, and his previous short story collection, Mothers and Sons, reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, The Empty Family will further confirm Tóibín's status as "his generation's most gifted writer of love's complicated, contradictory power." (Los Angeles Times)
The Empty Family is a haunting collection of nine short stories that speaks to the connections we make with both people and places. It explores the idea that recognizing and acknowledging the profound influence both these aspects have on us leads us to be content with who we are. The high bar of expectation set by Tóibín's previous books is met if not surpassed by this work. Once again we are given the gift of wonderful writing, not only because of the journeys we are taken on but the way in which we travel. (Reviewed by BJ Nathan Hegedus).
Starred Review. In this triumphant follow-up to his award-winning novel Brooklyn, Tóibín exhibits his familiar stylistic simplicity while extending his emotional reach and range in surprising ways.
Starred Review. These stories go a long way toward establishing Tóibín as heir to William Trevor, with reverberations that show how life encompasses more than the living.
Starred Review. [The Empty Family] reconfirms his mastery of the short story. ...Tóibín raised his profile with the exquisitely bittersweet Brooklyn, and this collection is every bit as rich... Likely to rank with the best story collections of the year.
The Guardian (UK)
Colm Tóibín is a fine lyricist of yearning, exile and regret.
The Times (U.K.)
The work of a supreme writer who only improves.
The Telegraph (UK)
Each character is caught in, or reflecting upon, a crossroad moment in their lives, a defining relationship, and combined with Toíbín's language – spare and poetic, with minimal, acerbic dialogue – it gives these stories a meditative quietude and a stealthy, understated power. Poised and complete, this is Toíbín in perfect control of his art.
The Independent (UK)
A collection that will only further fuel Toibin's ascent through English fiction.
Edmund White, author of City Boy
This is some of Tóibín's most beautiful and heart-stopping writing. The story "The Street" is one of the great love stories of our time, gay or straight.
Henry James (1843-1916), the prolific American writer of the late 19th/early 20th century, was known to pick up ideas for his stories from dinner party conversations. Colm Tóibín puts this bit of knowledge to use in his short story "Silence", when he has fictional character Lady Gregory share a secret with James as they sit next to each other at a dining table. A source of great influence and inspiration for Tóibín over the years, Tóibín paid homage to James in his well-received novel, The Master, a biographical work of fiction which begins in 1895 when James's hopes of becoming a prominent playwright were dashed by the success of Oscar Wilde.
Born in New York City, Henry James spent forty years living in England. He became a British citizen one year before his death, in protest of America's initial reluctance to enter World War I. His stories often placed...
From a chance encounter between two childhood friends to the memories of a newly widowed man to a family grappling with the sale of their ancestral land, Trevor examines with grace and skill the tenuous bonds of our relationships, the strengths that hold us together, and the truths that threaten to separate us.
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