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The South: Book summary and reviews of The South by Colm Toibin

The South

by Colm Toibin

The South
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  • Published in USA  Sep 1991
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In 1950, Katherine Proctor leaves Ireland and her family for Barcelona, determined to become a painter. There she meets Miguel, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and proceeds to build a life with him. But Katherine cannot escape her past, as Michael Graves, a fellow Irish emigre to Spain, forces her to re-examine all her relationships: to her lover, her art and the homeland she only thought she knew.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Irish journalist Toibin's compelling tale of love and art set in the United Kingdom and Franco's Spain, makes for a rich and remarkable debut." - Publishers Weekly

"Toibin's spare prose (not mannered or fake Hemingway) and partial glimpses into Katherine's consciousness and background (Protestant gentry) work well enough at first, but as the years pile up, so do the questions; eventually, Toibin's withholding technique looks like a simple inability to deliver. Still, a promising debut." - Kirkus Reviews

"This is a strong and moving work of fiction about the hard truths of changing one's life. Colm Toibin, like his characters, never says too much and never lets us grow too comfortable. A grand achievement." - Don DeLillo.

"A broad and beautifully worked canvas...An imaginative, deeply felt and evocative tale". - Sunday Times (UK)

"Colm Toibin writes prose of a heartbreaking beauty." - Hilary Mantel, Daily Telegraph (UK)

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Author Information

Colm Toibin Author Biography

Photo: Bruce Weber

Colm Tóibín was born in 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, the second youngest of five children. He graduated from University College Dublin in 1975 and promptly moved to Barcelona for three years. His experiences in Spain informed his first novel The South (1990). Tóibín returned to Ireland to pursue a masters but never matriculated. He left academia for a career in journalism and was editor of the prominent Irish news magazine Macgill from 1982 to 1985. He has taught literature and creative writing at Princeton and Stanford Universities, among others, and currently lives in Dublin.

Along with writing a number of critically-acclaimed novels, Tóibín has also worked as a critic and editor of a variety of anthologies, like The ...

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Link to Colm Toibin's Website

Name Pronunciation
Colm Toibin: CULL-um Toe-BEAN

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