Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is an acclaimed Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic, and poet. He is known for works such as 'Brooklyn', 'The Master', and 'Nora Webster'.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Master

    "The Master" is a fictionalized biography of the renowned author Henry James, chronicling his life from 1895 to 1899. The narrative delves into James' personal life, his relationships, and his struggles with his craft. The book reveals his inner thoughts and feelings, his unfulfilled desires, and his deep-seated fears. It also explores his relationships with his family, friends, and some of the most prominent figures of his time. The narrative is a deep, introspective exploration of a complex, introverted character, and the world in which he lived.

    The 1627th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Brooklyn

    The novel tells the story of a young Irish woman, Eilis Lacey, in the 1950s who, unable to find work at home, is sent to Brooklyn by a helpful priest where she builds a new life. She finds work, studies to become a bookkeeper, and falls in love with an Italian plumber named Tony. However, a family tragedy forces her to return to Ireland, where she must choose between her new life in America and her old life at home.

    The 2656th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Heather Blazing

    The protagonist, a respected Irish judge, reflects on his life as he spends his summer vacation in a seaside town in Ireland. As he navigates through the complexities of his professional life, he also grapples with his past, including the loss of his parents and his brother, his wife's infertility, and the changing political landscape of Ireland. The novel explores themes of memory, loss, and the tension between personal desires and societal expectations.

    The 7430th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Nora Webster

    Set in a small town in Ireland in the late 1960s, the novel follows Nora Webster, a recently widowed mother of four struggling to forge a new life after the death of her beloved husband. As she navigates her grief and the complexities of raising her children alone, Nora gradually begins to rediscover her own identity beyond her roles as a wife and mother. Through her journey, she confronts societal expectations and personal setbacks, ultimately finding a renewed sense of self and independence. The narrative captures the subtle transformations of Nora's character and the intimate details of her everyday life with profound emotional depth and insight.

    The 7936th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The South

    "The South" by Colm Toibin is a compelling novel that follows the journey of a young Irish woman named Katherine as she leaves her troubled marriage behind and embarks on a new life in Spain. Set against the backdrop of political unrest and cultural differences, Katherine's experiences in the vibrant and mysterious south of Spain shape her identity and challenge her perceptions of love, art, and self-discovery. With rich prose and nuanced characters, Toibin explores themes of longing, transformation, and the complexities of human relationships in this captivating tale.

    The 8966th Greatest Book of All Time