The Empty Family
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The Empty Family : Stories

By (author) Colm Toibin

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In the captivating stories that make up The Empty Family, Colm Toibin delineates with a tender and unique sensibility lives of unspoken or unconscious longing, of individuals, often willingly, cast adrift from their history. 'I imagined lamplight, shadows, soft voices, clothes put away, the low sound of late news on the radio. And I thought as I crossed the bridge at Baggot Street to face the last stretch of my own journey home that no matter what I had done, I had not done that.' From the young Pakistani immigrant who seeks some kind of permanence in a strange town to the Irish woman reluctantly returning to Dublin and discovering a city that refuses to acknowledge her long absence each of Toibin's stories manage to contain whole worlds: stories of fleeing the past and returning home, of family threads lost and ultimately regained. "Exquisite...The chief reason to read these stories is the peculiar power of Colm Toibin's prose." (Telegraph). "Astonishingly precise, depicting complex and conflicted states of mind with rare clarity' Observer 'Beautifully observed." (Sunday Times).

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  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 161g
  • 30 Jun 2011
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 0141041773
  • 9780141041773
  • 47,467

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Author Information

Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of eight novels, including The Master which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Brooklyn which won the Costa Novel Award and, most recently, Nora Webster, and two volumes of short stories. His non-fiction includes Lady Gregory's Toothbrush and Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almovodar.

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Review quote

Colm Toibin's new collection is the work of an author at the peak of his writing powers The Times Always deeply moving, the stories here - like the surf-washed pebbles on that Wexford beach - will be read for meaning and enjoyed for their shape and sound for ages to come Tribune It's a collection that will only further fuel Toibin's ascent through English fiction Independent on Sunday Exquisite ... The chief reason to read these stories is the peculiar power of Colm Toibin's prose Telegraph Astonishingly precise, depicting complex and conflicted states of mind with rare clarity Observer Beautifully observed Sunday Times Toibin's deceptively straightforward style continues to manage somehow to encompass both lucidity and ambiguity, precision and poetry Irish Times Exquisite Metro, Fiction of the Week These stories are always intensely interesting and sometimes profoundly provocative Irish Independent Perfect; and as good as the best of William Trevor, than which there can be no higher praise Scotsman

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