Colm Tóibín is a journalist, novelist, playwright, editor, and essayist who has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times. He is the author of nine novels, two collections of short stories, two plays, a memoir, and various anthologies and works of nonfiction. His work has been translated into more than thirty-five languages.
His novel The Master was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction in 2004. Brooklyn was named Costa Book of the Year in 2009. His novella, The Testament of Mary, was adapted into a play of the same name, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. His latest novel, House of Names, is a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her plot to murder her husband, King Agamemnon.
Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978. When he returned to Ireland, he worked as a journalist for In Dublin, Hibernia, and the Sunday Tribune, becoming features editor of In Dublin in 1981 and editor of Magill, Ireland’s current affairs magazine, from 1982 to 1985. He left Magill to travel in Africa and South America.
He has twice been the Stein Visiting Writer at Stanford University and has also been a visiting faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at Princeton and was professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. He has received honorary doctorates from Ulster University, University College Dublin, the University of East Anglia, and the Open University. In 2017 he received the Dayton Peace Prize Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.
Tóibín is currently Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of Humanities at Columbia University and chancellor of Liverpool University. He is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books.
House of Names (2017)
The Testament of Mary (2012)
The Master (2004)
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Colm Tóibín’s website
Tóibín receives 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize
“Austere in Writing, Wicked in Person,” The Telegraph, October 4, 2014
“House of Names Gives Voice to a Furious Mother,” book review in the Washington Post, May 2, 2017
Video: Tóibín at the 2017 National Book Festival