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What the Hell/Heaven Are We Doing? – Colm Tóibín

The Laureate for Irish Fiction, Sebastian Barry, hosts a series of brief conversations with fellow writers asking big questions about the nature of writing itself. What is its purpose? What should we make of its mystery beyond the pragmatic notions…

What the Hell/Heaven Are We Doing? – Colm Tóibín

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The Laureate for Irish Fiction, Sebastian Barry, hosts a series of brief conversations with fellow writers asking big questions about the nature of writing itself.

What is its purpose? What should we make of its mystery beyond the pragmatic notions of academia and journalism? This series will form part of a visual archive highlighting the golden age of writing in Ireland.

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. He is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed and prolific writers. He has worked as a journalist, critic, essayist, academic and novelist. He established his journalism credentials in the 1980s as editor of the groundbreaking Magill magazine. He is the author of eight novels, several essay and short story collections, poetry, multiple non-fiction works, and plays.

Tóibín published his first novel, The South, in 1990, before following it up with The Heather Blazing (1992), The Story of the Night (1996), and The Blackwater Lightship (1999). His fifth novel, The Master (2004), a fictional account of elements of Henry James, was nominated for a Man Booker Prize and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He won the Costa Award in 2009 for his novel Brooklyn, which was later adapted into a successful film. His book, The Testament of Mary (2012) was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His most recent novel, House of Names (2017) retells the Greek tragedy of the house of Atreus.

Tóibín has been visiting professor at Stanford Unversity, the University of Texas, and Princeton University. He is a member of Aosdána.

The Laureate for Irish Fiction is an initiative of the Arts Council in partnership with University College Dublin and New York University.

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