The South by Colm Toibin

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In 1950, Katherine Proctor leaves Ireland and her family for Barcelona, determined to become a painter. There she meets Miguel, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and proceeds to build a life with him. But Katherine cannot escape her past, as Michael Graves, a fellow Irish emigre to Spain, forces her to re-examine all her relationships: to her lover, her art and the homeland she only thought she knew. This is a strong and moving work of fiction about the hard truths of changing one's life. Colm Toibin, like his characters, never says too much and never lets us grow too comfortable. A grand achievement' Don DeLillo A broad and beautifully worked canvas ...An imaginative, deeply felt and evocative tale' Sunday Times

About Colm Toibin

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Award-winning writer and literary critic Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Ireland in 1955. He studied history and English at University College Dublin, earning his B.A. in 1975. After graduating he moved to Barcelona for three years and taught at the Dublin School of English. In 1978 Tóibín returned to Dublin and began working on an M.A. in Modern English and American Literature. He wrote for In Dublin, Hibernia, and The Sunday Tribune. Tóibín became the Features Editor of In Dublin in 1981, and then a year later accepted the position of Editor for the Irish current affairs magazine Magill. His first book, "Walking Along the Border," was published in 1987, and his first novel, "The South," debuted in 1990. Tóibín wrote for The Sunday Independent as a drama or television critic and political commentator. He has penned several more novels and a travel book, plus edited anthologies and a book of essays, created a play, and written regularly for The London Review of Books. Tóibín's second novel, "The Heather Blazing," received the 1993 Encore Award, and "The Master" achieved the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Tóibín has been a visiting professor or lecturer at many American universities. In recognition of his contribution to contemporary Irish literature, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in 2008.
Published January 1, 1991 by Viking. 256 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Tóibín's debut (The South, 1991) followed its heroine, a married Irishwoman on the lam, through a cycle of gain and loss; his downbeat second novel, the portrait of a Dublin judge, is all loss, no gain.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The South

Publishers Weekly

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Irish journalist Toibin's compelling tale of love and art set in the United Kingdom and Franco's Spain, makes for a rich and remarkable debut. (Oct.)

Sep 28 1992 | Read Full Review of The South

BC Books

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In The South we live a painter’s life, make her mistakes, travel from Ireland to Spain and back, and age, inconsistently.

Sep 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The South

BC Books

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The South by Colm Toibin is an intense, though fitful, chronicle of a woman’s life, a life as yet incomplete.

Sep 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The South

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