Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

2009 Costa Winner

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

       
 

Publisher: Penguin

Length: 252 pages

About: Irish homesick emigree experiences Brooklyn

Style: 3rd person

Where: Ireland and US (Brooklyn)

When: 1950s

 

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

It is Ireland in the 1950s and for Ellis Lacey, as for so many Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Elis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and home for the first time.

 

Extract:

She tried to work out how she had come to believe also that, while peple from the town who lived in England missed Enniscorthy, no one who went to America missed home. Instead, they were happy here and proud. She wondered if that could be true.

 

Reviews:

Good

Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn is a controlled, understated novel, devoid of outright passion or contrivance, but alive with authentic detail, moved along by the ripples of affection and doubt that shape any life: a novel that offers the reader serious pleasure. 

Robert Hanks, The Daily Telegraph, 7th May 2009

 

Not so good

Eilis' sensibility is at once the novel's fulcrum and its flaw.....It is, particularly towards the end, hard to fathom why Eilis, who in America seemed - to use the apt cliché - swept off her feet by Tony responds quite as she does to the adulterous temptation her Irish admirer embodies, or how the possibility of deception and deceit comes so easily to her.

The Independent, Aamer Hussein Friday 01 May 2009

 

 

About the author

Tóibín's parents were Bríd and Michael Tóibín. He was born in 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, in the southeast of Ireland. He is the second youngest of five children. His grandfather, Patrick Tobin, was a member of the IRA, as was his grand-uncle Michael Tobin. Patrick Tobin took part in the 1916 Rebellion in Enniscorthy and was subsequently interned in Frongoch in Wales. Colm Tóibín's father was a teacher who was involved in the Fianna Fáil party in Enniscorthy. He received his secondary education at St Peter's College, Wexford, where he was a boarder between 1970 and 1972.In July 1972, aged 17, he had a summer job as a barman in the Grand Hotel in Tramore, County Waterford, working from six in the evening to two in the morning. He spent his days on the beach, reading The Essential Hemingway, the copy of which he still professes to have, "pages stained with seawater."He progressed to University College Dublin, graduating in 1975. Immediately after graduation, he left for Barcelona. Tóibín's first novel, 1990's The South, was partly inspired by his time in Barcelona; as was, more directly, his non-fiction Homage to Barcelona (1990). Having returned to Ireland in 1978, he began to study for a masters degree. However, he did not submit his thesis and left academia, at least partly, for a career in journalism.

 

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Ratings

Adventure

 6

Filmability

 9

Historical

 8

Humorous

 2

Intellectuality

 5

Life-changing

 8

Page turner

 8

Readability

 9

Romance

 9

 

Age guide: 15

 

 

Books by same author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adaptations:

None to date

 

© PWF.co.uk

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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