New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families

New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families By Colm Tóibín, New Ways to Kill Your Mother Writers and Their Families In this fascinating informative and entertaining collection internationally acclaimed award winning author Colm T ib n turns his attention to the intricacies of family relationships in literature
  • Title: New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families
  • Author: Colm Tóibín
  • ISBN: 9780771084379
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Paperback
  • New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families By Colm Tóibín, In this fascinating, informative, and entertaining collection, internationally acclaimed, award winning author Colm T ib n turns his attention to the intricacies of family relationships in literature and writing In pieces that range from the importance of aunts and the death of parents in the English nineteenth century novel to the relationship between fathers and sonsIn this fascinating, informative, and entertaining collection, internationally acclaimed, award winning author Colm T ib n turns his attention to the intricacies of family relationships in literature and writing In pieces that range from the importance of aunts and the death of parents in the English nineteenth century novel to the relationship between fathers and sons in the writing of James Baldwin and Barack Obama, Colm T ib n illuminates not only the intimate connections between writers and their families but also, with wit and rare tenderness, articulates the great joy of reading their work In the piece on the Notebooks of Tennessee Williams, T ib n reveals an artist alone and deeply fearful and unusually selfish and one profoundly tormented by his sister s mental illness Through the relationship between W.B Yeats and his father, or Thomas Mann and his children, or J.M Synge and his mother, T ib n examines a world of family relations, richly comic or savage in its implications In Roddy Doyle s writing on his parents we see an Ireland reinvented From the dreams and nightmares of John Cheever s journals T ib n makes flesh this darkly comic misanthrope and his relationship to his wife and his children.The majority of these pieces were previously published in the Londron Review of Books, the New York Review Review of Books, and the Dublin Review Three of the thirteen pieces have never appeared before.
    New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families By Colm Tóibín,
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    About "Colm Tóibín"

    1. Colm Tóibín

      Colm Toibin was born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in 1955 He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978 Out of his experience in Barcelona be produced two books, the novel The South shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times Aer Lingus First Fiction Award and Homage to Barcelona , both published in 1990 When he returned to Ireland in 1978 he worked as a journalist for In Dublin , Hibernia and The Sunday Tribune , becoming features editor of In Dublin in 1981 and editor of Magill, Ireland s current affairs magazine, in 1982 He left Magill in 1985 and travelled in Africa and South America His journalism from the 1980s was collected in The Trial of the Generals 1990 His other work as a journalist and travel writer includes Bad Blood A Walk Along the Irish Border 1987 and The Sign of the Cross Travels in Catholic Europe 1994 His other novels are The Heather Blazing 1992, winner of the Encore Award The Story of the Night 1996, winner of the Ferro Grumley Prize The Blackwater Lightship 1999, shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Prize and the Booker Prize and made into a film starring Angela Lansbury The Master 2004, winner of the Dublin IMPAC Prize the Prix du Meilleur Livre the LA Times Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Booker Prize Brooklyn 2009, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year His short story collections are Mothers and Sons 2006, winner of the Edge Hill Prize and The Empty Family 2010 His play Beauty in a Broken Place was performed at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin in 2004 His other books include The Modern Library the 200 Best Novels Since 1950 with Carmen Callil Lady Gregory s Toothbrush 2002 Love in a Dark Time Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar 2002 and All a Novelist Needs Essays on Henry James 2010 He has edited The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction His work has been translated into thirty languages In 2008, a book of essays on his work Reading Colm Toibin , edited by Paul Delaney, was published He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster and from University College Dublin He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books In 2006 he was appointed to the Arts Council in Ireland He has twice been Stein Visiting Writer at Stanford University and also been a visiting writer at the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin He is currently Leonard Milberg Lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University.

    639 thoughts on “New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families”

    1. Realized too late that instead of an interconnected narrative, this is a book of essays most published in the LRB, the NYRB, and the Dublin Review loosely organized around a sort of guiding aesthetic about how artists use and are formed by their family dynamics Loosely is the appropriate word This is sort of like The Anxiety of Influence with the theory left out, which you would think might be a pleasant experience than reading this fix up actually is the pleasure in reading carefully crafted s [...]


    2. First things first author Colm T ib n s New Ways to Kill Your Mother is no lightweight, frothy summer beach read, so be prepared for that He s an Irish novelist, essayist, journalist, critic, short story writer, playwright, and recently, a poet Described recently as an old fashioned literary man o war, he is generally regarded by those familiar with his works as having outclassed many at the various literary forms in which he has delved.Though the title might suggest a manual about matricide, T [...]


    3. In this rather anarchic, rambling collection of literary commentary, CT proves himself once again a master of the gab I amazed myself by finding interest in anecdotes concerning authors I quite dislike, and works Ive previously considered boring Adverse as I am to games such as trivial pursuit, I have to admit there lurks in me a love a certain kind of gossip, the kind about literary feuds and old muses Its quite fascinating although sometimes appalling to read about the families of great author [...]


    4. In this fascinating book, Colm T ib n sets out to show how their families influenced the work of various authors Divided into two sections he first concentrates on Irish authors W.B Yeats, J.M Synge, Samuel Beckett, Brian Moore, Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle and Hugo Hamilton The second part of the book, called Elsewhere gives us glimpses of the lives and families of Thomas Mann, Jorge Luis Borges, Hart Crane, Tennessee Williams, John Cheever, James Baldwin and finally Barack Obama, a man we don [...]


    5. I was drawn to this book by the write up in the Guardian review a couple of weeks ago and by the title Although it is a pleasant read, the mismatch between the title and the book and some confusion about what the book actually is, made the overall experience a bit disappointing.Essentially it is a collection of essays of literary criticism, loosely linked by the subject of writers and their families It particularly, but not exclusively, concentrates on family relationships that writers have soug [...]


    6. Seeing Colm T ib n read was a bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming trip to Seattle He s hilarious And brilliant I m a sucker for that.Never read anything by him, but remembered that my mom had given me this book and resolved to check it out once I got home I read about half of this, and enjoyed it so much that I forgot to notice that I m not especially interested in its topic, which seemed to be the lives of various Irish writers Then I remembered, set the book down on my nightstand, and di [...]


    7. This is a fascinating account of authors and the importance of the family in their life and literature It is split into two parts Ireland and Everywhere Else It begins with an essay on the Death of the Mother in novels of the late eighteenth century and the aunt figure in novels by authors such as Jane Austen and Henry James.The section on Ireland looks at the relationship between W.B Yeats and the humiliating letters from his father trying to promote his own literary endeavours, John Synge and [...]



    8. This is a provocatively titled book, and its actually of an exploration of writers and the relationships with their families some which include mothers, some wives, some fathers and some extended family members Dysfunctional families often provide subject matter for a lifetime, best exemplified by Eugene O Neill s plays But I know of Colm Toibin, as a writer of novels so it was utterly fascinating to read how he researches the lives of other writers and also has written as many works of non fi [...]


    9. Maybe this is not the Toibin book I should ve started with I m not even sure what the point of this book is It s supposedly about writers and their families and I suppose that would mean how a writer s family shaped their work, especially parental influence Yeah, that is not what this is about It s basically a collection of mini biographies concentrating on writer s adult lives Some are interesting Some are not How Toibin chose the authors to write about is entirely a mystery, since he refuses t [...]


    10. When I heard the title of this book mentioned during T ib n s appearance at a local college last week, I knew I had to have it I first encountered his work at a used tool and book sale in a small market town in the Midlands Rows of long tables filled the town hall, stacked with old saber saws and wrenches, as well as piles of well thumbed books I picked up a copy of _The Heather Blazing_, intrigued by the title, and devoured it that night I liked it so much that I made my book club read it, and [...]


    11. Tentatively, I put this book on read shelf even though I promised myself to return to it in later time when I have read the other authors he analyzed My range of literary reading is not broad enough to make use of several of his essays I am very impressed and instructed by his analysis of the role aunts played in Jane Austen and Henry James novels They were plot devices that I did not quite notice, except when they obviously facilitate or impede the heroines or heroes s actions Mr Toibin has edu [...]


    12. I chose this purely because I have read Colm Toibins work before and enjoyed it, although his other books I have read have been works of fiction.This is a collection of essays about the intricacies of the family relationships and how it has impacted the literature of different authors.I enjoyed delving in to each authors life and learning a little about them and how these relationships shaped them as a person and shaped there work.Split in to parts the book allows you read it the whole way thr [...]


    13. So this book is a collection of essays about writers, their own family relationships and the affect that this had on their writing.It was a pretty solid collection and I think it s testament to T ib n s writing that even the essays about writers whose works I had not read I found engaging I only got the book out because I wanted to read the essays about Jane Austen and James Baldwin I am ever predictable I know , but I ended up reading the whole book and I m really glad I did also it was v gay w [...]


    14. If you re already interested in the writers Toibin discusses, you ll find this to be a well written and fascinating analysis of them If you re not, however, it s difficult to become interested Toibin clearly enjoys exploring these writers and while the overall theme is examined from nuanced angles, I wanted analysis and insight to tie all the chapters together Sometimes it felt like Toibin was just describing relationships that interested him rather than connoting fresh insight into the larger [...]


    15. This one s definitely for English majors, but I enjoyed dipping into it each night Some of the essays are better than others, but their was something interesting in even the lesser ones What I would have liked is a unifying introduction to these pieces about the influence of family nuclear and extended on the likes of Yeats, Mann, Borges, Doyle, Singe, James, Cheever, Beckett, Tennessee Williams and Baldwin everyone s white except for the latter and not a woman among them and others and the auth [...]


    16. Thoughtful essays about the way over a dozen well known writers interacted with their families Toibin starts by saying the mother is killed off in most fiction in order to give the protagonist space for agency Then he discusses a lot of Irish writers but strangely enough for such a generous critic, he omits any famous women from his individual case studies including the talented Irish novelist Edna O Brien Disappointing.


    17. Focusing especially on the relationships between fathers as sons rather than mothers, as the title indicates , Toibin makes a strong case for the symbiotic nature of the families of great writers and the works that those writers produced Fascinating stuff, especially for those well read in literature.


    18. Toibin, Toibin, Toibin you are very consistant you never fail to disappoint me This time it was really over the top A MOST enticing Title, one that has absolutely NO relevence to this book and simply a pastiche of other published writings la Kitty Kelley.



    19. Filled with insights into the lives and work of many great writers Toibin manages to delve into private lives of artists without devolving into gossip As with any collection I was drawn to some pieces than others No surprise that the sections on the Yeatses and the Synges grabbed me most, but I also really loved the essay on John Cheever a writer I ve never felt particularly drawn to and the closing piece comparing the lives and writings of James Baldwin and Barack Obama.


    20. This is not the kind of book I read straight through I dip in and read a section and then but it down for a while It is a series of essays on various authors, their families and how those relations affected their writing I wouldn t have read it if I wasn t doing a review of another Toibin book and got curious about this one.



    21. Colm T ib n has pulled together lectures and articles he has written that mostly connect to the way in which writers and their families affect each other The families and often the writers themselves turn out to be a strongly dysfunctional bunch.The killing of the mother or father, in some cases is also a theme, but not one with any reality here except in literary terms In the opening chapter, which stands alone in the book and might have been better sandwiched between the other two major sectio [...]


    22. This is a scholarly, literary critique of a handful of authors who had issues with their mothers However, the title New Ways to Kill Your Mother suggested to me that it would take the perspective of how the act of writing about one s mother alters or affects that relationship And perhaps this says about me than the author As it turns out, Toibin s focus has nothing to do with how the mother perceived or was affected by the works of their child No, it has to do with how the author created or su [...]


    23. New Ways to Kill Your Mother collects some of Colm T ib n s biographical essays about writers, including Henry James, W B Yeats, Synge, Beckett, Thomas Mann, Borges, Hart Crane, Tennessee Williams, John Cheever and James Baldwin, focusing as that attention grabbing title suggests on familial relations And not just maternal ones The opening essay, which I found the best in the book, Jane Austen, Henry James and the Death of the Mother explores the uses of aunts in literature, and surprised me by [...]


    24. Much of the focus in the essays are, not surprisingly, about Irish authors and their relationships with their families, not only those with their mothers Toibin is Irish himself, and his novels reflect his own life growing up in his neighborhood with his parents and siblings This is not an easily accessible book the writing is at times quite deep and a bit turgid, but Toibin knows his literature without doubt.Especially enjoyable were his longer essays about James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, an [...]


    25. the introductory essay on jane austen is excellent i know her novels well and this essay has given me a new perspective on them wow and all of the subsequent chapters essay on highly respected authors and their families not just the moms fathers, sons, daughters, siblings, even uncles and aunts all get equal time are informative families matter and from this well written book, the reader clearly comes to see how much of an impact the neurosis of each writer and particular family members may affe [...]


    26. Loved this book for the most part very dense enquiry into messed up writers and their parents, siblings etc, slightly dwelling on the male writers than the female opportunity missed for Edna O Brien, I think Was amazed to read what I did about Thomas Mann s family, he was this odious paterfamilias who renounced Nazism relatively late while his son Klaus and overbearing daughter Erika both stood up to him and behaved quite courageously, even though poor Klaus never really broke free and died by [...]


    27. Colm Toibin s New Ways to Kill Your Mother Writers and their Families is a compilation of linked essays on the role of various family members in novels ranging from Jane Austen, Henry James, Beckett, Roddy Doyle, John Cheever to James Baldwin and Barack Obama I am a great fan of Toibin as one of the best of the Irish authors and I thoroughly enjoyed The Master winner of numerous literary awards and his brilliant Brooklyn But he is also an accomplished professor and literary critic who reminded m [...]


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