Lowell Lecture

Colm Tóibín: “Writing Thomas Mann: Fact into Fiction”

Date & Time

Feb. 22, 2023 at 7 p.m.


Boston College - Gasson 100
140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Driving Directions


Colm Tóibín

Presenting Organization

Boston College




Chandler Shaw (shawcp@bc.edu, )

Colm Tóibín 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 and Homage to Barcelona, both published in 1990.

His more recent novels include: 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), The Testament of Mary (2012, Booker Prize Shortlist), Nora Webster (2014, winner of the Hawthornden Prize), House of Names (2017, Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The Guardian, The Boston Globe) and The Magician (2021, The Rathbones Folio Prize).

His short story collections are Mothers and Sons (2006, winner of the Edge Hill Prize) and The Empty Family (2010, Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award). His play “Beauty in a Broken Place” was performed at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin in 2004. In 2011, his play “Testament”, directed by Garry Hynes, was performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival with Marie Mullen in the lead role. Also in 2011, his memoir, A Guest at the Feast was published by Penguin UK as a Kindle original.

When Tóibín returned to Ireland in 1978 he worked as a journalist. His journalism from the 1980s was collected in The Trial of the Generals (1990). His travel writer work includes Bad Blood: A Walk Along the Irish Border (1987) and The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe (1994). Recent non-fiction books also include Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce (2018), On Elizabeth Bishop (2012) and New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and their Families (2012).

Tóibín’s writing has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. Between 2006 and 2013 he was a member of the Irish Arts Council. He has twice been Visiting Stein Writer at Stanford University and has also been a visiting writing at the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at Princeton from 2009 to 2011 and was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester in 2011. He is currently Mellon Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia and Chancellor of Liverpool University.

Cosponsored by the Boston College Irish Studies Program and Fiction Days Series.