The Empty Family

The Empty Family By Colm Tóibín, The Empty Family On the heels of his breakout success the bestselling and award winning novel Brooklyn Colm T ib n returns with a stunning collection of new stories In the breathtaking long story The Street T ib n
  • Title: The Empty Family
  • Author: Colm Tóibín
  • ISBN: 9781439138328
  • Page: 381
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Empty Family By Colm Tóibín, On the heels of his breakout success, the bestselling and award winning novel Brooklyn, Colm T ib n returns with a stunning collection of new stories In the breathtaking long story The Street, T ib n imagines a relationship between Pakistani workers in Barcelona a taboo affair in a community ruled by obedience and silence In Two Women, an eminent and taciturn Irish sOn the heels of his breakout success, the bestselling and award winning novel Brooklyn, Colm T ib n returns with a stunning collection of new stories In the breathtaking long story The Street, T ib n imagines a relationship between Pakistani workers in Barcelona a taboo affair in a community ruled by obedience and silence In Two Women, an eminent and taciturn Irish set designer takes a job in her homeland, and must confront emotions she has long repressed Silence is a brilliant historical set piece about Lady Gregory, who tells the writer Henry James a confessional story at a dinner party.
    The Empty Family 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.

    820 thoughts on “The Empty Family”

    1. It s not a very promising start, I know, when a reviewer s lead sentence begs your indulgence In this case, it s to allow my personal reading history with the talented Mr T ib n The first book of his I read was the much loved Brooklyn in 2010 In fact, I would have purchased the movie rights then and there if I d had the spare millions lying around Then I read The Master, his well written deep dive into the character of Henry James That one didn t strike me as cinematic, but it was engaging all t [...]


    2. The Empty Family, Colm T ib nThe Empty Family is a collection of short stories by Irish writer Colm T ib n 2016 1394 151 9786007642511


    3. Be advised Colm Toibin is the new lit darling The lemmings are racing to the Irish coast I don t get it Much of his writing is beautiful, but it s also like one of those crusty French meringue bisquits lovely to look at, but nothing inside Having just read these 9 stories, I can recall only one Yet I can rattle on about 7 or 8 stories x Maugham, Maupassant, Roald Dahl, John Colllier, and several by du Maurier to name a few , read years ago.Once again Toibin presents a stunt centered on Henry Jam [...]


    4. If all the stories in this collection were as absorbing as Silence and The Colour of Shadows , I d have given it a 5 or 4 On the other hand, if they were all as inconsequential and self absorbed as Barcelona, 1975 or One Minus One it d be a 1.They all concern people alienated in some way from home and family, and usually returning home if only temporarily I m not sure if I like collections of stories to be as themed and alike as this I think one advantage of a collection of stories is the variet [...]


    5. Some of the stories in this collection are as nearly perfect as a short story can be Toibin has a powerful ability to render the raw emotion of love and loss in words which echo in the readers mind long after the book has been finished.


    6. 9 stories, quite different from each other, without any specific link, written by the highly competent Irish writer who I think this way of literary expression suits him Because there is no connection between these stories contained in the book, I should take things from the beginning.In the first short story we have the story of a man who has moved away from his family and especially from his mother until he finally returned to her only for her last moments So he is confronted with his memories [...]


    7. I ve given this 4 stars, instead of 5, because I liked his Mothers and Sons Stories even And because one story in the middle, while just as well written as the others, eluded me As usual, his work is full of characters that live, and his stories are written in such a deceptively simple style that the endings hit you with a quiet devastation something that can make a story for me And I don t think the devastation is necessarily bleak, as the character is showing an accommodation to his her circu [...]


    8. One of the best collections of stories I have read in a long while Toibin is a master, whose every written word is fully thought out The stories all revolve around love and its loss, loneliness and family The concept of family is used here in its broader sense, and means many different things to the different characters safety, acceptance, meeting sexual and emotional needs, and much else There is great accuracy in the depiction of psychological and emotional landscapes Superb writing, moving an [...]



    9. WARNING there is some explicit sex in this book It doesn t bother me, but I know some get upset about it and I didn t want someone to pick this book after reading my review and get gobsmacked.


    10. Even though I have only read two books by Colm T ib n so far, The Testament of Mary and The Empty Family, I do believe he is a very good storyteller and I am sure I will reach for of his work very soon The Empty Family was the first collection of his short stories I ve read, and I am not sure if I have missed to notice and grasp something, or if his short stories simply do not resonate with me that well.Some of the stories in this book left me wanting , wanting to know what actually happened I [...]


    11. I love Colm Toibin s writing It s so spot on much of the time that you wonder if there could possibly be any other way to say the things he says I love the women he creates They re so real, from the crusty to the geriatric to the young and the fierce and the selfish Many of the stories in this collection didn t let me down A big fan of his novel Brooklyn , I was once again amazed at the reality of his characters and situations the awkwardness of reconciling adolescent activities and attitudes wi [...]


    12. These are superbly written and I would give 5 stars to at least two of them, Two Women and The Colour of Shadows, while for sheer beauty of language the title story stands out There is a gay element to each of the stories except for Two Women and The New Spain the longest story here and, in my opinion, the least of them One reviewer here said that there was graphic and gratuitous gay sex here Graphic some of it certainly is, but hardly gratuitous I would say that it s next to impossible to conve [...]


    13. What I enjoy about Colm Toibin s writing style is its simultaneous urgency and quietness This effect was much powerful in his novel Brooklyn, and drew me to want to read of his writing The Empty Family is a collection of short stories set in modern day Ireland, 1970s Spain and ninteenth Century England Each story focuses on the emotional truth of its central character, a truth that is private and deeply held Toibin has an almost magical way of drawing out these emotional truths while not explo [...]



    14. With the exception of the title story, whose nameless first person narrator s tortured elliptical reminiscences were too baffling to be affecting, the stories in this collection are terrific With his characteristic understated prose and perfect pitch, Toibin examines themes of exile, loss, and regret Most of the characters in these stories have made a choice to leave their place of origin Ireland, Spain, Pakistan in most of the stories Toibin is interested in exploring the regrets that such a ch [...]


    15. What an quietly accomplished author Colm Toibin is, as large men are often graceful dancers this large writer has a feather like touch This collection contains stories set in Ireland, Spain and brief interludes in America As ofen in his writing Toibin discusses the idea of home and what home is comprised of an old women moves into a care home in the West of Ireland, a young woman returns to Spain to find her grandmother s home desecrated, migrants in Barcelona make themselves a home together The [...]




    16. So, much as Colm Toibin is a wonderful writer, I really only enjoyed about half the stories in this collection, so for that reason, I am only giving this book 3 Stars and really would not recommend it to anyone I know.


    17. I knew he wanted me to move the telescope, to focus now on Rosslare Harbour, on Tuskar Rock, on Raven Point, on the strand at Curracloe, agree with him that they could be seen so clearly even in this faded evening light But what he showed me first had amazed me The sight of the waves, miles out, their dutiful and frenetic solitude, their dull indifference to their fate, made me want to cry out, made me want to ask him if he could leave me alone for some time to take this in I could hear him brea [...]


    18. I read this when I heard another Irish author calling it the greatest collection of short stories to come out of Ireland since Joyce s Dubliners I realise now that he surely must have been having a laugh Blimey I don t think I have come across such tedious, insipid prose and as many clich s since first year uni Toibin has a spare, light touch resulting in quiet, unassuming prose without bells, whistles, big bangs and ubiquitous twists However, what he could achieve in that sense is greatly dimin [...]


    19. Songs of Lost Innocence Silence, the first story in this collection by Colm T ib n, is different from the others, being set in the 1880s and telling of Lady Gregory s love affair with the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt this long before her creative association with Yeats The theme of a remembered love affair, however, crops up in several of the other stories, all of which are contemporary or set in T ib n s lifetime many of them have a strongly autobiographical air.The title story, The Empty Family, [...]


    20. I can t remember the last time I was blown away by a short story collection, but Colm Toibin s Empty Family left me breathless, envious, inspired, and overjoyed to have found a writer whose stories are about something other than the fumbling of adolescence.The stories, set in Dublin, Barcelona, and America, all capture moments of difficult intimacy the desire, pain, and loss between men and women, men and men, men and their mothers and grandmothers, and women and their families In each, Toibin c [...]


    21. I m not an avid reader of short stories, they usually leave me unsatisfied, but I loved Brooklyn, Colm Toibin s award winning recent novel so I decided to try again The Empty Family is a collection of nine short stories which are linked by the themes of exile, loneliness and family Most of the protagonists find themselves in limbo like situations, caught in a pivotal moment where the past and present collide, where home and belonging seem vague and elusive concepts.All of the stories whether fir [...]


    22. I do not think short stories are T ib n s strongest suit I think longer forms serve him better my favorite story was the longest story A good short story can be though I don t want to make any really strong normative claims a bit like a slap out of nowhere, and he doesn t have that talent, which I think I probably should have guessed before reading these.But my evaluation of this book is probably not totally fair, because Brooklyn is still fresh in my mind, and I love Brooklyn with an adolescen [...]


    23. When comparing novels to short stories, a friend of mine recently told me that she doesn t need all the detail and story line of a novel She just wants to meet different characters, like chatting with someone on a train ride where you get just a glimpse into their life on that day I ve never been a good short story reader I m always looking for the story arc, wondering what the points was, and why there was no obvious resolution So now I m trying to approach them differently It s hard work for m [...]


    24. I really love Colm Toibin s writing at this point At first I was a bit underwhelmed but with time it s become apparent that his work lingers and there is a distinct way to read it Silence sticks out especially for its conveyance of regret specifically the way regret sits, alive but unobtrusive, within a person The same can be said of Two Women, a story which, alongside The Pearl Fishers, reveals a surprisingly modern wit Toibin works beautifully with historical settings maybe because loss is inh [...]


    25. This is the first time I ve read Colm Toibin, and it won t be the last This collection of short stories is a wonderful addition to anyone s bookshelf I am a fan of the short story especially when a writer is skilled at allowing the reader to enter into a character s world for a brief moment and garner so much about that person, and that is what Toibin has achieved with this collection.Some of the stories are better than others, I loved One Minus One which deals with a son returning to Ireland to [...]


    26. I love reading Colm Toibin His name is pronounced Column Toe BEAN Just learned that Reading anything by him is like being enveloped in velvet, or in the softest cashmere in the world It s soft, warm, and comforting This book s short stories are infused with a gay sensibility After reading CT s BROOKLYN, I assumed he was heterosexual Then I read THE MASTER, discovered CT s fascination with Henry James, and now see that he s also written a non fiction study of the master BROOKLYN is thought to be [...]


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