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Photo by Don J. Usner

Colm Tóibín

Photo by Don J. Usner

Colm Tóibín is one of the most distinct and multi-layered voices in modern Irish fiction, noting, “I think fiction lends itself to messiness rather than the ideal, and plays well with the ironies surrounding what happens versus what should happen.” Aside from being a novelist, he is also a playwright, essayist, editor and journalist. Two of his books, The Blackwater Lightship and The Master, a novel depicting the interior life of writer Henry James, were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and his play The Testament of Mary was nominated for a 2013 Tony Award.

Tóibín’s Love in a Dark Time: And Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature considers the topic through the lives and works of notable cultural figures such as Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Bishop and Pedro Almodóvar. He is a member of Aosdána: the Irish Association of Artists and currently teaches creative writing at Columbia University.