The Empty Family

The Empty Family

Stories

Book - 2011
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Colm Tóibín's exquisitely written new stories, set in present-day Ireland, 1970s Spain and nineteenthcentury England, are about people linked by love, loneliness and desire. Tóibín is a master at portraying mute emotion, intense intimacies that remain unacknowledged or unspoken. In this stunning collection, he cements his status as "his generation's most gifted writer of love's complicated, contradictory power" (Los Angeles Times).

"Silence" is a brilliant historical set piece about Lady Gregory, widowed and abandoned by her lover, who tells the writer Henry James a confessional story at a dinner party. In "Two Women," an eminent Irish set designer, aloof and prickly, takes a job in her homeland, and is forced to confront devastating emotions she has long repressed. "The New Spain" is the story of an intransigent woman who returns home after a decade in exile and shatters the fragile peace her family has forged in the post-Franco world. And in the breathtaking long story "The Street," Tóibín imagines a startling relationship between two Pakistani workers in Barcelona--a taboo affair in a community ruled by obedience and silence.

Tóibín's characters are often difficult and combative, compelled to disguise their vulnerability and longings. Yet he unmasks them, and in doing so offers us a set of extraordinarily moving stories that remind us of the fragility and individuality of human life. As The New York Review of Books has said, Tóibín "understands the tenuousness of love and comfort--and, after everything, its necessity."
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2011
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439138328
143913832X
9781439195963
143919596X
Branch Call Number: FICTION TOIBIN
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 22 cm

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c
clarencedavis
Mar 09, 2016

This was another wonderful reading experience by this author. I do think I prefer his novels, however; but some of the short stories here do really stand out.

o
okbookgirl
Aug 02, 2011

Hurrah! another collection of short stories from one of the very best authors writing in English today. This is a collection that explores themes of love and home - and most of all, beautiful and sad yearning for a place, for a person; for the past, for the present.

joyhuebert Jun 10, 2011

wowie, this is one sexy book- gay sex - and very good short storytelling.

m
molly
May 20, 2011

Some beautiful insightful stories, and some stories in detail of homosexual sex.

f
feyfriend
Apr 08, 2011

I've never read a word by Colm Toibin before this amazing collection, but you can believe I will read many more words of his. He is one of the excellent ones, the ones who, though they are shaping tales with the same language we use daily, are somehow putting a different shine on it, making

Kirbs Feb 24, 2011

Positively astonishing. Sentences that stop you dead to re-read, take-in their perfection. Each short story combines to a strand of glorious gems.

debwalker Jan 09, 2011

More stories from the master of quiet desperation. "An insightful exploration of the world we all live in." Jane Smiley

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