|Irish author Colm Tóibín|
Saturday, April 1, 2017
The author Colm Tóibín appeared at the University of South Carolina Thursday night as part of the OpenBook series.
He reminisced about being nominated for a Booker Prize and not getting it, all with deprecating humor—how he attended the awards ceremony convinced he’d take the prize, only to hear another name announced as the winner.
He discussed writing his book, The Master, a creative nonfiction account of the life of Henry James. To get beyond “James was born, he wrote, he died,” Tóibín brought his own reality to the carefully researched details of James’ life. Tóibín’s lecture ranged over literature with the assurance of a college professor, from Shakespeare to Robert Louis Stevenson to James Joyce.
It was exciting to see Tóibín, who wrote one of my favorite novels, Brooklyn. The book was made into a movie which is the antithesis of Hollywood’s ubiquitous hysterical adventure movies. Brooklyn has no car chases, no explosions, no gratuitous sex, no guns or murders, no gays, transsexuals or deprived blacks. You might call it a miracle.