About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Mothers and Sons: Stories (Signed First ...
Publisher: Scribner (New York)
Publication Date: 2007
Book Condition: New
Dust Jacket Condition: New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
From the internationally celebrated author of The Master, winner of the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Mothers and Sons is a deeply penetrating and beautifully written meditation on the dramas surrounding this most elemental of relationships. Each of the nine stories focuses on a moment in which an unspoken balance shifts; in which a mother or son do battle, or experience a sudden crisis, thus leaving their conception of who they are subtly or seriously altered.
A son buries his mother and goes out to a drug-fuelled rave on a remote beach near Dublin. A mother sings about treacherous love to a rapt crowd of musicians in a local pub. And in “A Long Winter,” Colm Tóibín’s finest piece of fiction to date, a man goes searching for his mother in the snow-covered Pyrenees.
Psychologically intricate and emotionally incisive, each finely wrought story teases out the delicate and difficult strands woven between mothers and sons. This is an acute, masterful, and moving collection that confirms Tóibín as a great prose stylist of our time.
The nine stories in Mothers and Sons examine in depth some of the ways that the bond that is forged--or not--between mothers and their sons is altered, re-formed, or broken forever. In The Master, his fictionalized life of Henry James, Toíbín made the reader see and understand the writer more fully than ever before. Similarly, these new stories look at relationships between fully formed adults and, with a few deft strokes, make clear what their mutual history has brought them to. In most cases, they must deal with loss, while trying to grasp the complexities of that sometimes precarious balance between a mother and her son.
In the first story, "The Use of Reason," a lifelong burglar is nearly brought down by his mother, who talks too much when she drinks in her local pub. In "A Song," Noel, on the town with a group of his musician friends, ends up in the same bar as his estranged mother, who is asked to sing. She sings an Irish ballad about love and treachery and he is convinced that she is singing directly to him. In "A Priest in the Family," Molly's son Frank is accused of abuse, but no one has the courage to tell her until it is almost time for the trial. Her reaction is not entirely predictable. "Three Friends" takes place after a young man attends his mother's funeral. He joins his friends for a night of carousing and drugs ending with a late-night swim, where he is emboldened to make an overt sexual pass at one of his buddies, with interesting results. The final story, "A Long Winter," is set in Spain in a remote village. Miquel's mother drinks. Everyone knows it but Miquel. His father pours out her supply of booze and she leaves the house. So far it's a simple story. It doesn't stay that way. Each of these stories has its own gravitas, its own sadness, and that laser-beam of insight that is Toíbín's trademark. --Valerie Ryan
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