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Colm Toibin

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ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2013 | By David Ng
A Catholic group is speaking out against a new Broadway play by Irish novelist Colm Toibin that offers an alternative interpretation of the life of the Virgin Mary. "The Testament of Mary," starring Fiona Shaw, began preview performances this week at the Walter Kerr Theatre.  The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property published a lengthy statement on its website in which it called the play "blasphemous. " "The Irish writer gives free rein to his imagination when expressing his contempt for the Gospels, Christian tradition, and Mary Most Holy," the group wrote.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
This post has been updated. Please see note at bottom for details. Eleanor Catton took the 2013 Man Booker Prize for "The Luminaries" at an awards ceremony in London on Tuesday night. At age 28, Catton is the youngest novelist ever to win the prestigious prize -- and her novel, at more than 800 pages, is the longest book. When she accepted, Catton said, " 'The Luminaries' was, from the start, a publisher's nightmare.” She thanked her editors for “striking a balance between making art and making money,” the Washington Post reports.
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NEWS
September 5, 1991 | RICHARD EDER, TIMES BOOK CRITIC
Dooms are inhabited, history has to be lived, and emotions are in need of people to have them. Colm Toibin, interweaving the orphaned bitternesses that go back to the Spanish Civil War and the Irish Troubles, chisels neatly his lines of history and fate. In the person of an upper-class Irish woman, he suggests a high, desolate anguish and a final reconciliation. His novel, "The South," is spare, grave and finely articulated, but it is terribly abstract. The characters stand in a half-light.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
NEW YORK - Sucking on a cigarette and swigging from a bottle of spirits, the Virgin Mary isn't looking all that virginal in Colm Tóibín's defiantly strange, inescapably controversial and at moments intensely gripping dramatic experiment "The Testament of Mary. " If she seems distinctly Irish that is because the play, which had its Broadway opening Monday at the Walter Kerr Theatre, is being performed by the powerhouse Irish actress Fiona Shaw, known to many as Harry Potter's aunt but awarded an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her stage genius.
NEWS
September 28, 1995 | RICHARD EDER, TIMES BOOK CRITIC
You might say of Colm Toibin that there's not a religious bone left in his body. An altar boy in County Wexford, he must have tumbled onto something upon noticing that his father would occasionally depart the family rosary with a fit of the giggles. Toibin lost his faith at 14 and went on to become a nonbelieving member of the Dublin literary intelligentsia, more secular European these days than strictly Irish.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2006 | From Bloomberg
Colm Toibin won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel "The Master," becoming the first Irish writer to win the world's most valuable prize for a single work of fiction. Toibin was picked for the 100,000-euro ($126,000) award from a shortlist of 10, for his novel about writer Henry James. Published in 2004, the book also won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger for the best foreign novel published in France.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2009 | Associated Press
Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman will be among the authors featured at this spring's PEN World Voices Festival, the writers organization announced Wednesday. Now in its fifth year, the PEN festival will include readings, discussions and performances throughout New York City from April 27 to May 3, with participants expected from more than 40 countries. Other writers expected include Edwidge Danticat, Michael Ondaatje, Colm Toibin and David Grossman, while Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and Parker Posey will perform at a "PEN Cabaret."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
This post has been updated. Please see note at bottom for details. Eleanor Catton took the 2013 Man Booker Prize for "The Luminaries" at an awards ceremony in London on Tuesday night. At age 28, Catton is the youngest novelist ever to win the prestigious prize -- and her novel, at more than 800 pages, is the longest book. When she accepted, Catton said, " 'The Luminaries' was, from the start, a publisher's nightmare.” She thanked her editors for “striking a balance between making art and making money,” the Washington Post reports.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2007 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff writer
THE Irish writer Colm Toibin is one of those extraordinary artists whose work is a kind of dramatic dialogue between an icily observant intellect and a tender heart. Nearly as formidable a critic as he is a writer of fiction -- which is very formidable, indeed -- Toibin once mused that, in his country's literature, "there seemed to be no middle ground between work of pure genius and the ballad."
BOOKS
June 6, 2004 | Michael Gorra, Michael Gorra is the author of several books, including "The Bells in Their Silence: Travels Through Germany" and "The English Novel at Mid-Century: From the Leaning Tower."
The biographer is bound by fact, but the historical novelist need only be plausible. His characters may bear the names of those who once actually lived, but he enjoys a liberty that the biographer does not. Even the most amply documented of lives contained moments in which important words went unsaid, scenes determined by a level, all-knowing stare or the way one pair of eyes avoided another.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2013 | By David Ng
A Catholic group is speaking out against a new Broadway play by Irish novelist Colm Toibin that offers an alternative interpretation of the life of the Virgin Mary. "The Testament of Mary," starring Fiona Shaw, began preview performances this week at the Walter Kerr Theatre.  The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property published a lengthy statement on its website in which it called the play "blasphemous. " "The Irish writer gives free rein to his imagination when expressing his contempt for the Gospels, Christian tradition, and Mary Most Holy," the group wrote.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2009 | Associated Press
Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman will be among the authors featured at this spring's PEN World Voices Festival, the writers organization announced Wednesday. Now in its fifth year, the PEN festival will include readings, discussions and performances throughout New York City from April 27 to May 3, with participants expected from more than 40 countries. Other writers expected include Edwidge Danticat, Michael Ondaatje, Colm Toibin and David Grossman, while Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and Parker Posey will perform at a "PEN Cabaret."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2007 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff writer
THE Irish writer Colm Toibin is one of those extraordinary artists whose work is a kind of dramatic dialogue between an icily observant intellect and a tender heart. Nearly as formidable a critic as he is a writer of fiction -- which is very formidable, indeed -- Toibin once mused that, in his country's literature, "there seemed to be no middle ground between work of pure genius and the ballad."
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2006 | From Bloomberg
Colm Toibin won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel "The Master," becoming the first Irish writer to win the world's most valuable prize for a single work of fiction. Toibin was picked for the 100,000-euro ($126,000) award from a shortlist of 10, for his novel about writer Henry James. Published in 2004, the book also won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger for the best foreign novel published in France.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 2005 | Merle Rubin, Special to the Times
The story that unfolds in Irish writer Colm Toibin's haunting third novel begins in the late 1970s in Argentina, where the narrator, Richard Garay, a closeted gay man, lives with his widowed mother, a sadly disappointed English immigrant: "The generals were in power then, and nobody stayed out late ... nothing happened. Or, as we later learned, a great deal happened, but I never witnessed any of it. It was as though the famous disappearances we hear so much about now took place in a ghost city..
BOOKS
June 6, 2004 | Michael Gorra, Michael Gorra is the author of several books, including "The Bells in Their Silence: Travels Through Germany" and "The English Novel at Mid-Century: From the Leaning Tower."
The biographer is bound by fact, but the historical novelist need only be plausible. His characters may bear the names of those who once actually lived, but he enjoys a liberty that the biographer does not. Even the most amply documented of lives contained moments in which important words went unsaid, scenes determined by a level, all-knowing stare or the way one pair of eyes avoided another.
BOOKS
June 13, 1993 | Mark Harman, Harman is an Irish-born critic and translator. His translation of Hermann Hesse's selected letters was reissued in paperback recently by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
We Irish are often said to be obsessed with the tangled history of our small island. Over the past few decades historians have been busy revising the simplistic version of Irish history that pitted ever virtuous Irish natives against evil foreign conquerors. That traditional scenario is still accepted in some Irish-American circles.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 2005 | Merle Rubin, Special to the Times
The story that unfolds in Irish writer Colm Toibin's haunting third novel begins in the late 1970s in Argentina, where the narrator, Richard Garay, a closeted gay man, lives with his widowed mother, a sadly disappointed English immigrant: "The generals were in power then, and nobody stayed out late ... nothing happened. Or, as we later learned, a great deal happened, but I never witnessed any of it. It was as though the famous disappearances we hear so much about now took place in a ghost city..
NEWS
September 28, 1995 | RICHARD EDER, TIMES BOOK CRITIC
You might say of Colm Toibin that there's not a religious bone left in his body. An altar boy in County Wexford, he must have tumbled onto something upon noticing that his father would occasionally depart the family rosary with a fit of the giggles. Toibin lost his faith at 14 and went on to become a nonbelieving member of the Dublin literary intelligentsia, more secular European these days than strictly Irish.
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