Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer, a breakout novel about Henry James, from a masterful and award-winning author.
In The Master, his brilliant and profoundly moving fifth novel, Colm Tóibín tells the story of Henry James, a famous novelist born into one of America's intellectual first families two decades before the Civil War. James left his country to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.
In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and longing, the hope and despair of a man who never married, never resolved his sexual identity, and whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of Tóibín's portrait of James is riveting. Time and again, James, a master of psychological subtlety in his fiction, proves blind to his own heart.
Tóibín is a "great and humanizing writer" who describes complex relationships in "supple, beautifully modulated prose" (Washington Post Book World). In The Master, he has written his most ambitious novel, an extraordinarily inventive encounter with a character at the cusp of the modern age, elusive to his own friends and even family yet astonishingly vivid and moving in these pages.
Colm Toibin is the author of four previous novels, "The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, "and "The Blackwater Lightship, " which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. He lives in Dublin.