A Slow Simmer Of Grief And Strength In 'Nora Webster'

October 11, 2014 11:04 AM

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Colm Tóibín's writing is the literary equivalent of slow cuisine – and I mean that as a compliment. In this age of fast everything, sensational effects, and unremitting violence, he uses only the purest literary ingredients – including minutely focused character development and a keen sense of place — and simmers his quietly dramatic narratives over a low burner.

Sharply observed, nuanced family dynamics are always on Tóibín's menu — whether he's writing about an estranged family re-united by the son's AIDS in The Blackwater Lightship, a young woman torn between her family in Ireland and her new life in America in Brooklyn, or the prematurely widowed titular...

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