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  • A brilliant book...Tóibín is a supple, subtle thinker, alive to hints and undertones, wary of absolute truths.

    New Statesman
  • Insightful and compassionate, assured and knowledgeable, never less than fascinating. An impressive, fine and engaging collection

    Independent on Sunday
  • These are foxy essays. Tóibín knows lots of things, and his characteristic approach is to sneak up on things steadily. Tóibín, with great subtlety and sometimes with splendid impudence, is interested here in what you might call the higher gossip

  • Tóibín's engaged in white heat. A masterly writer, working at the full stretch of his powers

  • A consistently revealing look at how writers' relationships have influenced their work

    Sunday Telegraph
  • 'Calm and pure, a tone that's unfailingly warm and compassionate...Colm Tóibín's prose meets Orwell's standard: it's like a pane of clear glass

    Irish Times
  • Tóibín is a particularly compelling guide to fellow novelists. A wide-ranging and enlightening study of the potentially stifling family and the individual spirit of the writer

    Sunday Times
  • He writes in muscular prose with a keen eye for detail

  • Penetrating and often very funny...Tóibín is a master

  • Colm Tóibín is an exceptionally fine writer...He puts his natural empathy to good use in these essays...outstanding

    Mail on Sunday

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