Synopses & Reviews
Each of the nine stories in this beautifully written, intensely intimate collection centers on a transformative moment that alters the delicate balance of power between mother and son, or changes the way they perceive one another. With exquisite grace and eloquence, Tóibín writes of men and women bound by convention, by unspoken emotions, by the stronghold of the past. Many are trapped in lives they would not choose again, if they ever chose at all.
A man buries his mother and converts his grief to desire in one night. A famous singer captivates an audience, yet cannot beguile her own estranged son. And in "A Long Winter," Colm Tóibín's finest piece of cction to date, a young man searches for his mother in the snow-covered mountains where she has sought escape from the husband who controls and confines her.
Winner of numerous awards for his fifth novel, The Master -- including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award -- Tóibín brings to this stunning first collection an acute understanding of human frailty and longing. These are haunting, profoundly moving stories by a writer who is himself a master.
"[A] book to be offered to anyone who savors some of the most accomplished and nuanced soundings contemporary fiction has to offer." New York Times
"Though each story stands alone...the magic of Mothers and Sons is how beautifully they come together as a whole." Miami Herald
"'A Long Winter' has everything we've come to expect of Tóibín....It's a beautiful, seamless, affecting piece of writing." Seattle Times
"[Toibin has] the extraordinary gift of making perennial matters of family life feel mesmerizingly new, and of epic significance." National Post
"Characterization, dialogue, controlled narrative and scenic description are expertly blended throughout, often to stunning emotional effect." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] rich but supple prose style seals each story's and thus the collection's absolute success." Booklist
From the internationally celebrated author of The Master
, winner of the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Mothers and Sons is a deeply penetrating and beautifully written meditation on the dramas surrounding this most elemental of relationships. Each of the nine stories focuses on a moment in which an unspoken balance shifts; in which a mother or son do battle, or experience a sudden crisis, thus leaving their conception of who they are subtly or seriously altered.
A son buries his mother and goes out to a drug-fuelled rave on a remote beach near Dublin. A mother sings about treacherous love to a rapt crowd of musicians in a local pub. And in "A Long Winter," Colm Tóibín's finest piece of fiction to date, a man goes searching for his mother in the snow-covered Pyrenees.
Psychologically intricate and emotionally incisive, each finely wrought story teases out the delicate and difficult strands woven between mothers and sons. This is an acute, masterful, and moving collection that confirms Tóibín as a great prose stylist of our time.
The award-winning author of The Master returns with this psychologically intricate and emotionally incisive collection of stories that tease out the delicate and difficult strands woven between mothers and sons.
About the Author
Colm Toibin is the award-winning author of five novels: The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, The Blackwater Lightship, and The Master, winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Table of Contents
The Use of Reason
The Name of the Game
Famous Blue Raincoat
A Priest in the Family
A Summer Job
A Long Winter
One Minus One