The South

Colm Tóibín

15 December 2014
256 pages


With an introduction by Roy Foster

A classic work of Irish literature, this award-winning novel is an exploration of love, art and identity.

This was the night train to Barcelona, some hours before the dawn. This was 1950, late September. I had left my husband. I had left my home.

Katherine Proctor has dared to leave her family in Ireland and reach out for a new life. Determined to become an artist, she flees to Spain, where she meets Miguel, a passionate man who has fought for his own freedoms. They retreat to the quiet intensity of the mountains and begin to build a life together. But as Miguel's past catches up with him, Katherine too is forced to re-examine her relationships: with her lover, her painting and the homeland she only thought she knew. . .

The South is the book that introduced readers to the astonishing gifts of Colm Tóibín, winning the Irish Times First Fiction Award in 1991. Arrestingly visual and enduringly atmospheric, it is a classic novel of art, sacrifice, and courage.

* Pre-order Long Island, the stunning sequel to Tóibín's prize-winning, bestselling novel Brooklyn *

A broad and beautifully worked canvas . . . An imaginative, deeply felt and evocative tale
A daring, imaginative feat; the world it conjures is at once familiar and strange, and strangely moving. A splendid first novel
This is a strong and moving work of fiction about the hard truths of changing one's life. Colm Tóibín, like his characters, never says too much and never lets us grow too comfortable. A grand achievement