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

The South

by Colm Toibin

The South by Colm Toibin X
The South by Colm Toibin
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  • Published Sep 1991
    240 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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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)

This information about The South was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Colm Toibin Author Biography

Photo: Bruce Weber

Colm Tóibín is the author of ten novels, including The Magician, his most recent novel; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections and several books of criticism. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. Three times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.

Link to Colm Toibin's Website

Name Pronunciation
Colm Toibin: CULL-um Toe-BEAN

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