Length: 252 pages
About: Irish homesick emigree experiences Brooklyn
Style: 3rd person
Where: Ireland and US (Brooklyn)
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.
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.
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.