Provocative, haunting and indelible, Colm Tóibín's portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity.
In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples.
Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died - she fled, to save herself), and her judgment of others is equally harsh. This woman whom we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Tóibín's tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
"Poigniant...This beautiful novella turns on who or what Mary should believe about her son's life and death - and on a mother's grief." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. A stunning interpretation that is as beautiful in its presentation as it is provocative in its intention." - Booklist
"Starred Review. A novella that builds to a provocative climax, one that is as spiritually profound as its prose is plainspoken...A work suffused with mystery and wonder." - Kirkus Reviews
The information about The Testament of Mary shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
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 ...
Colm Toibin: CULL-um Toe-BEAN
Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!
No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.