Released on 10 January 2019.

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The Master

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2004 Short-listed

Man Booker Prize


With an introduction by award-winning novelist Tessa Hadley

In January 1895 Henry James anticipates the opening of his first play, Guy Domville, in London. The production fails, and he returns, chastened and humiliated, to his writing desk. The result is a string of masterpieces, but they are produced at a high personal cost.

In The Master Colm Tóibín captures the exquisite anguish of a man who circulated in the grand parlours and palazzos of Europe, who was astonishingly vibrant and alive in his art, and yet whose attempts at intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. It is a powerful account of the hazards of putting the life of the mind before affairs of the heart.

In the media

An audacious, profound, and wonderfully intelligent book.
A marvel of lightly worn research and modulated tone.
New Yorker