Colm Toibin - Author - Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017

Acclaimed, award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín (pronounced COL-um toe-BEAN) is the author of 8 novels, several essay and short story collections, poetry, multiple non-fictional works and the play ‘Beauty in a Broken Place’ which was performed at the Peacock Theatre, Dublin in 2004.

His novels have enjoyed great critical success, some of which include ‘The Blackwater Lightship’ (1999), short-listed for the Booker Prize; ‘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 Man Booker Prize; ‘Brooklyn‘ (2009), winner of the Costa Novel of the Year; shortlisted for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; long-listed for the 2009 Man Booker Prize and ‘The Testament of Mary‘ (2012), which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013.


Colm’s novels have also been adapted to stage and screen. The most recent being ‘Brooklyn’, which was adapted into a screenplay for a major motion picture under the same title, directed by John Crowley.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin at FGLF 2017

Brooklyn received three Academy Award nominations, including one for best picture in 2015.

Colm speaks on the making of Brooklyn into a major motion picture in this featurette.


‘The Blackwater Lightship’ was made into a TV movie on CBS starring Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote) who received an Emmy nomination for her role in 2004.

Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin at FGLF 2017

‘The Testament of Mary’ was adapted for Broadway, staring FGLF 2016 alumni Fiona Shaw which received positive reviews and 3 Tony Award nominations in 2013.

Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin at FGLF 2017

His latest novel, ‘Nora Webster’ (2014) dramatizes the life of a woman and her family in a small town in Ireland in the late 1960s, which was followed by the publication of ‘On Elizabeth Bishop’ (2015) a study of the works from American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Bishop, which was nominated for a 2016 National Book Award.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin at FGLF 2017

Colm Tóibín’s writing has been translated into more than 30 languages, and 3 books have been published on his work: ‘Reading Colm Toibin’ (2008); ‘Mother/Country: Politics of the Personal in the Fiction of Colm Toibin’ (2012); and Eibhear Walshe’s ‘A Different Story: The Writings of Colm Toibin’ (2013).

Mr. Tóibín’s writing explore several themes which explore the depiction of Irish society, living abroad, the process of creativity, and the preservation of a personal identity, focusing especially on gay identities, but also on identity when confronted with loss. His personal notes and work books reside at the National Library of Ireland.

Colm Tóibín has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster, University College Dublin and the University of East Anglia. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. He is a member of Aosdána and has lectured at Stanford University, The University of Texas at Austin, Princeton University, Middlebury College, Boston College, New York University, Loyola University Maryland, and The College of the Holy Cross. He was a professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester and is currently Mellon Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

FGLF 2017 Participant - Colm Toibin at work

Colm Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York, and has recently completed the original screenplay for ‘Return to Montauk’, a German drama film by Volker Schlondorff, who won Cannes’ Palme d’Or and an Oscar for ‘The Tin Drum’ (1979).

Colm Toibin at FGLF 2017

Don’t miss meeting Colm Tóibín at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017. His events will be announced in November 2016 … Please click the FOLLOW button below to receive email updates as festival news and announcements are published.