Books

Nora Webster

Nora Webster is a book by Colm Tóibín.

Colm Tóibín

Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín's magnificent seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be sucked back into it. Wounded, selfish, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning insight and empathy, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself. (From Scribner)

Colm Tóibín is one of Ireland's most admired and prolific writers. He is the author of the novel Brooklyn, which won the Costa Best Novel Award and was made into a movie starring Saoirse Ronan. In 2006, he won the International Dublin Literary Award for The Master, an imaginative re-creation of five years in the life of Henry James.

From the book

"You must be fed up of them. Will they never stop coming?" Tom O'Connor, her neighbour, stood at his front door and looked at her, waiting for a response.

"I know," she said.

"Just don't answer the door. That's what I'd do."

Nora closed the garden gate.

"They mean well. People mean well," she said.

"Night after night," he said. "I don't know how you put up with it."

She wondered if she could get back into the house without having to answer him again. He was using a new tone with her, a tone he would never have tried before. He was speaking as though he had some authority over her.

"People mean well," she said again, but saying it this time made her feel sad, made her bite her lip to keep the tears back. When she caught Tom O'Connor's eye, she knew that she must have appeared put down, defeated. She went into the house.


From Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín ©2015. Published by Emblem Editions

Interviews with Colm Tóibín

Frank Faulk's documentary about author Colm Toibin's controversial interpretation of the Virgin Mary in his new book "The Testament of Mary." 22:19
A lively and entertaining conversation from the International Festival of Authors with two wonderful writers: Marilynne Robinson and Colm Toibin. 1:03:59

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