The literary reputation of Colm Tóibín, born in Ireland’s County Wexford in 1955, just keeps growing and growing. He worked as a journalist in the 1980s and became a published author in 1990 when he released a novel, The South, and also a non-fiction book, Homage to Barcelona. Tóibín had worked as a teacher in Barcelona after graduation.
Three more novels followed in the 1990s. The past 10 years have seen Tóibín in demand as a visiting professor in places like Stanford and Princeton Universities. He has lectured at many other major seats of learning.
Tóibín’s 2004 novel, The Master, is a fictional account of parts of Henry James’ life, and was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also published a collection of short stories in 2006 called Mothers and Sons. His 2009 book, Brooklyn, has been widely acclaimed and won the novel section of the Costa Prize. The novel concerns a young woman’s emigration from 1950s Ireland to New York.
The author’s writing targets several themes, including the Irish at home and abroad. Tóibín is openly gay and homosexuality also features in his work. He is a member of Aosdána, an Irish organisation that promotes the arts.