Colm Tóibín was born in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978, which inspired two books, the novel The South (winner of the Irish Times/ Aer Lingus First Fiction Award) and Homage to Barcelona, both published in 1990. His other novels are The Heather Blazing (1992, winner of the Encore Award), The Story of the Night (1996, winner of the Ferro-Grumley Prize), The Blackwater Lightship (1999, shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Prize and the Booker Prize and made into a film starring Angela Lansbury), The Master (2004, winner of the Dublin IMPAC Prize, the Prix du Meilleur Livre, the LA Times Novel of the Year, and shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Brooklyn (2009, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year), The Testament of Mary (2012, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway stage adaptation, starring Fiona Shaw, and released as an audiobook with Meryl Streep), Nora Webster (2014, winner of the Hawthornden Prize), House of Names (2017), and The Magician (2021). His short story collections are Mothers and Sons (2006, winner of the Edge Hill Prize) and The Empty Family (2010). His journalism and travel writing was collected in Bad Blood: A Walk Along the Irish Border (1987),The Trial of the Generals (1990) and The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe (1994). His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
Colm Tóibín’s most recent non-fiction includes New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and their Families (2012), On Elizabeth Bishop (2015) and Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce (2018). He is currently the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and Chancellor of Liverpool University.