Colm Toibin's new and challenging collection of stories paint rich and textured portraits of individuals at different pivotal moments in their lives. In each case, Toibin shows how their relationship with either a mother or a son, or their relationship to their own role as mother or son, reveals something unique and important about them. The stories feature Ireland or Irish narrators, but they are also truly universal. In `Famous Blue Raincoat' unwelcome memories are stirred when a mother, once a singer in an Irish folk-rock band of some popular renown in the 60s, finds that her son has been listening to their old records - songs she hoped never to hear again. In `Water', a son buries his mother and goes out to a drug-fuelled rave on a remote beach outside Dublin. In the course of this one night his grief and desire for raw feeling combine with exquisite and devastating intensity. At once beautifully playful, psychologically intricate, emotionally incisive, finely-wrought and fearless these stories tease out the delicate and difficult strands which are woven between mothers and sons. Sometimes shocking and always powerful, this masterful new collection confirms Toibin as great prose stylist of our time. Praise for The Master: `An audacious, profound, and wonderfully intelligent book' Hermione Lee, Guardian `The Master is not short of a masterpiece' Independent on Sunday
Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955 and lives in Dublin. He is the author of five novels including the Booker shortlisted The Blackwater Lightship and The Master. His non-fiction includes The Sign of the Cross and Love in a Dark Time.