Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is a contemporary Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic, and poet. He is known for his deep exploration of themes such as identity, belonging, and the complexities of social and family relationships. His notable works include 'The Blackwater Lightship', 'The Master', and 'Brooklyn', the latter of which was adapted into a successful film. Tóibín's writing is celebrated for its eloquence, subtlety, and emotional insight.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Master

    "The Master" is a fictionalized biography of the renowned author Henry James, chronicling his life from 1895 to 1899. The narrative delves into James' personal life, his relationships, and his struggles with his craft. The book reveals his inner thoughts and feelings, his unfulfilled desires, and his deep-seated fears. It also explores his relationships with his family, friends, and some of the most prominent figures of his time. The narrative is a deep, introspective exploration of a complex, introverted character, and the world in which he lived.

  2. 2. Brooklyn

    The novel tells the story of a young Irish woman, Eilis Lacey, in the 1950s who, unable to find work at home, is sent to Brooklyn by a helpful priest where she builds a new life. She finds work, studies to become a bookkeeper, and falls in love with an Italian plumber named Tony. However, a family tragedy forces her to return to Ireland, where she must choose between her new life in America and her old life at home.

  3. 3. The South

    "The South" by Colm Toibin is a compelling novel that follows the journey of a young Irish woman named Katherine as she leaves her troubled marriage behind and embarks on a new life in Spain. Set against the backdrop of political unrest and cultural differences, Katherine's experiences in the vibrant and mysterious south of Spain shape her identity and challenge her perceptions of love, art, and self-discovery. With rich prose and nuanced characters, Toibin explores themes of longing, transformation, and the complexities of human relationships in this captivating tale.

  4. 4. The Heather Blazing

    The protagonist, a respected Irish judge, reflects on his life as he spends his summer vacation in a seaside town in Ireland. As he navigates through the complexities of his professional life, he also grapples with his past, including the loss of his parents and his brother, his wife's infertility, and the changing political landscape of Ireland. The novel explores themes of memory, loss, and the tension between personal desires and societal expectations.