Love in a Dark Time

Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar

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In Love in a Dark Time, Colm Tóibín looks at the life and work of some of the greatest and most influential artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His subjects range from figures such as Oscar Wilde, born in the 1850s, to Pedro Almodóvar, born nearly a hundred years later. Tóibín studies how a changing world impacted on the lives of people who, on the whole, kept their homosexuality hidden, and reveals that the laws of desire changed everything for them, both in their private lives and in the spirit of their work.

‘Tóibín treats his subject with confidence and authority, both of which attributes are only strengthened by his moderation of tone and the depth of his compassion. He writes with rare tenderness of figures as disparate as Elizabeth Bishop and Francis Bacon, Thomas Mann and Roger Casement, Thom Gunn and Pedro Almodóvar’ John Banville, Irish Times

‘Such readings are crucial, for it is only when homosexuality is removed from the margins and placed at the very heart of the cultural canon that the world predicted by Tóibín in which “being gay will no longer involve difficulty and discrimination” will come to pass’ Michael Arditti, The Times

‘Tóibín writes with high-voltage restraint; his sentences are masterfully devoid of trickery . . . He is tuned in to the silent language of families, the messages that are unspoken and slip past the rest of the world, landing deep into the hearts of those who understand’ Robert Sullivan, Vogue

About Colm Toibin

Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of seven novels, most recently Brooklyn, the 2009 Costa Novel of the Year, The Master, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize and winner of the LA Times Book Prize and the IMPAC Book Award, and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize and the 2001 IMPAC Award. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona, The Sign of the Cross and Love in a Dark Time. He is also the author of two short-story collections, Mothers and Sons, which was awarded the inaugural Edge Hill Prize, and The Empty Family, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in Dublin.

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Books by Colm Toibin

The South
The South
The Heather Blazing
The Heather Blazing
Bad Blood
Bad Blood
Homage to Barcelona
Homage to Barcelona
The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross
The Blackwater Lightship
The Blackwater Lightship
The Story of the Night
The Story of the Night
Mothers and Sons
Mothers and Sons
The Master
The Master
Lady Gregory's Toothbrush
Lady Gregory's Toothbrush