Friday 20 April 2018

Tóibín makes the Booker shortlist

Man Booker nominated author Colm Tóibín was in Texas last week when he learned that he is once more in the hunt for one of the big prizes in literature.

The man from Parnell Avenue in Enniscorthy was in the US as writer in residence at the university in Austin when he learned that his 'Testament of Mary' has made the Booker last six.

The winner will be announced in London next month, when the Wexford nominee will be making his third appearance at the annual ceremony.

Fourteen years ago, 'Blackwater Lightship' was in contention and 'The Master' followed on to the short list in 2004.

Once news of the hat-trick broke, the author admitted that such a nomination makes it hard to maintain concentration on the business of writing.

However, the 58-year-old revealed that he has already completed another novel, which he wrote out in longhand rather than sitting at a computer keyboard and screen.

At 30,000 words, 'Testament of Mary' is the shortest work ever to make the final cut for consideration as a potential Booker winner.

It was originally conceived as a play, presenting Tóibín's imagined version of Mary mother of God looking back in old age on her life and the death of her son.

It was first presented on stage in Dublin with Marie Mullen playing Mary before Fiona Shaw took up the role on Broadway.

The novel version, published late last year, has been made into an audio book, read by the Oscar winning Meryl Streep.

New Ross Standard