Nov 28, 2012 — In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
Nov 14, 2012 — Colm Toibin's latest novel reimagines the life and death of Jesus through the eyes of his mother. Elegantly subversive, The Testament of Mary examines the nature of truth and storytelling from the point of view of the world's most famous virgin.
Nov 13, 2012 — Irish writer Colm Toibin's novella recounts familiar stories of the New Testament, as seen through the eyes of Jesus' mother. But this isn't the iconic blushing virgin you're used to seeing. Toibin's Mary is modeled after the fierce heroines of Greek tragedies — and she is filled with anger.
Nov 10, 2011 — With siblings like William and Henry James, it's easy to be forgotten. But Alice James, the sickly younger sister of two famously brilliant minds, has proved herself unforgettable. In Jean Strouse's biography Alice James, the author revisits a woman who had a salty wit, but a chronic cold.
Jun 30, 2011 — Have you ever had an experience so profound, you felt like a different person once it was over? Author Ann Brashares recommends a story of heartbreak that remakes the personality of a young teen: The Go-Between, by L.P. Hartley.
Jan 18, 2011 — Like his last two stunning novels, The Master and Brooklyn, the triple-trinity of stories in Colm Toibin's new collection, The Empty Family, are at once elegiac and elegant.
Jul 24, 2010 — Will Grozier, who drives a taxi in London, is no ordinary cabbie. NPR's Scott Simon calls him "the best-read man that I have ever encountered in my life" — which is why NPR occasionally calls Grozier up for reading recommendations. Here are Grozier's latest picks, five books that are equally suitable for diving into on the beach or sampling on a short taxi ride.
Dec 23, 2009 — Many of the picks from Fresh Air's book critic look back at tough times from earlier eras, or lives upended by disaster. The best books of the year include a work of nonfiction that reveals the hidden fantasy land of a founder of American industry, and a novel that doesn't apologize for the bad behavior of its characters. Plus, a bonus mystery pick.
May 7, 2009 — Book critic Maureen Corrigan says the most remarkable aspect of Colm Toibin's new novel is its heroine, a "plain Jane" Irish immigrant with limited options.
May 3, 2009 — Author Colm Toibin's latest tale moves back and forth across the Atlantic, from the town of Enniscorthy, Ireland, to bustling Brooklyn, N.Y.