Colm Toibin Archive

Women in Myths

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In such ancient stories as The Odyssey, women, who are often archetypes and who typically exist in the margins, are enlivened when their stories are told by contemporary writers, freeing them from their limited roles

On Colm Tóibín’s The Master and the Designed Self

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I recently fell in love with Colm Tóibín’s The Master, a novel about the life of “master” writer Henry James. Notable writers such as Michael Cunningham describe the novel, shortlisted in 2004 for the Man Booker, as “almost shockingly close to the mystery of art itself.”

The Possibilities of Brooklyn Past

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Rarely do an adaptation and its source material mesh so well as they do in Brooklyn—the 2009 novel by former Ploughshares guest editor Colm Tóibín, and the 2015 film by John Crowley.

We Read Our Lives Wherever We Can

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What happens when you read to manifest, rather than escape, your preoccupations?

Round-Up: THE BELL JAR’s New Cinematic Adaptation, a Reading at Oscar Wilde’s Prison, and PEN America’s New Awards

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From a new film adaption of The Bell Jar to a massive reading in honor of Oscar Wilde, here are this week's biggest literary stories.

Roundup: Ploughshares Readings and Q&A’s

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As we launch a new blog format for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 9 (of 14)

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So there I was, my head in Colm Tóibín’s Ireland (more, later)  while chattering about Mo Yan’s China on BBC World TV. It was Friday, October 12, 2012 at 0615 hours in Central, Hong Kong. An ungodly hour (up at 0430 hours to reach their studios on time) to

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 8 (of 14)

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My aspiration in life is to loaf. These days, life seems to be much ado about aspiration, or so the brand-marketing-image-makers would have us believe. We aspire to fame (and living forever, as that song goes) and wealth, stardom for a second on YouTube, regardless. Me? I want, like