* * * Shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Novel Awards and the 2015 Folio Prize * * *
Nora Webster is the heartbreaking new novel from one of the greatest novelists writing today.
It is the late 1960s in Ireland. Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. She is fiercely intelligent, at times difficult and impatient, at times kind, but she is trapped by her circumstances, and waiting for any chance which will lift her beyond them.
Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again. As the dynamic of the family changes, she seems both fiercely self-possessed but also a figure of great moral ambiguity, making her one of the most memorable heroines in contemporary fiction.
The portrait that is painted in the years that follow is harrowing, piercingly insightful, always tender and deeply true. Colm Tóibín's Nora is a character as resonant as Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary and Nora Webster is a novel that illuminates our own lives in a way that is rare in literature. Its humanity and compassion forge an unforgettable reading experience.
'A profoundly gifted world writer' Sebastian Barry
A fine companion piece to his acclaimed novel, Brooklyn . . . Mixing irony and nostalgia in its portrayal of a provincial Irish town. Subtle and enthralling
Tóibín's measured prose and close attention to emotional nuance is shown at its best here
This is his best yet. The ache of a widow's grief is rendered with such an unadorned intensity that you might not think the book could be entertaining too, but it is
A clear-sighted yet sympathetic portrait of a woman destabilised by grief
So rich, so observant, so moving
Tender, delicately oblique in its narration, and exquisitely well-written
A luminous, elliptical novel in which everyday life manages, in moments, to approach the mystical . . . There is much about Nora Webster that we never know. And her very mystery is what makes her regeneration, when it comes, feel universal
Beautiful and heartbreaking. It's so richly detailed and laced with such dialogue that you feel like you are living in Nora's world
Arresting. As this novel movingly proposes, there are no ordinary women and no ordinary lives
The story is so expertly crafted that it achieves a luminous intensity, which lingers long in the memory
Colm Tóibín on why he left his hometown behind to explore a family drama in the royal households of Ancient Greece in House of Names.
James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room is a mainstay on lists of LGBTQ classics. In this introduction from the new Everyman edition, Colm Tóibín unravels the intimately confessional style that draws this beautiful book into so many readers’ hearts