A Guest at the Feast
In his essay about the life of Irish writer John McGahern, Toibin reveals the tones of melancholy and amusement within both art and the artist. In his extraordinary essay on his cancer diagnosis, Toibin unpicks the word ‘battle’, and illuminates the distress, horror and blankness of his experiences. From the shades of light and dark in a Venice without tourists, to the streets of Buenos Aires riddled with disappearances and tied up with dictators and politics, we find ourselves considering law and religion in Ireland as well as in Marilynne Robinson’s fiction.
A Guest at the Feast reveals the places where politics and poetics meet, where life and fiction overlap, where one can be inside writing and also outside of it. The imprint of the written word on the private self, as Toibin himself remarks, is extraordinarily powerful. In this collection, that power is gloriously alive, illuminating history and literature, politics and power, family and the self.
About the Author
Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of nine novels including The Master, Brooklyn, The Testament of Mary and Nora Webster. His work has been shortlisted for the Booker three times, won the Costa Novel Award and the Impac Award. He has also published two collections of stories and many works of non-fiction. He lives in Dublin.
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