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The Man Booker at Birkbeck: Colm Toibin

Each year Birkbeck welcomes a highly acclaimed author as part of the Booker Prize Foundation's Universities Initiative. The Universities Initiative aims to bring high-quality contemporary literature to students from across the disciplines.

Professor Russell Celyn Jones will be in conversation with Colm Tóibín about his novel The Testament of Mary (Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize) on Monday 17 October 2016.

Each year, a Man Booker prize nominee comes to Birkbeck to discuss their work and take part in a question and answer session. All students are invited to collect a free copy of the book (available from the Birkbeck library from Monday 26th September) to read in advance of the event courtesy of the Booker Foundation and Birkbeck.

In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.

As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.

Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of six novels, including The Blackwater Lightship and The Master; both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brooklyn, which won the Costa Novel Award; and two collections of stories, Mothers and Sons and The Empty Family.

(NB This event is open to Birkbeck students, staff and alumni. Booking is essential)

Book Here

Previous author visits have included: