Dingle Lit presents and evening with author Colm Tóibín at The Blasket Centre

An evening with Colm Tóibín in The Blasket Centre this July

11:09am | Tue 4 Jun 2024

Dingle Literary festival is delighted to announce a very special event this July. For the first time, we will be hosting an event outside of the festival weekend, and we couldn’t think of a better reason why… Colm Tóibín, one of Ireland’s best and most beloved authors has just released his latest book, Long Island, the sequel to his 2009 novel Brooklyn. To say this is a hotly-anticipated book would be quite the understatement. Even non-readers will know Brooklyn, from the film of the same name starring Irish actors Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson, with Ronan perfectly capturing the central character, Eilis, in Tóibín’s tale of emigration to America in the 1950s – dealing with the pull of home and family, and the difficult decision of choosing one life over another. It’s a story that resonates with so many Irish families, and our cousins abroad.

Long Island picks up Eilis Lacey’s story in the 1970s, as a married suburban mother, who comes up against a crisis in her marriage as she discovers her husband has fathered a child with another married woman. The book follows her as she returns home to visit Ireland with her two children in tow, revisiting her past.

The Guardian reviewer, John Self, says, “Long Island often reads like a masterclass in everything Tóibín can do,” and calls it a “subtle, intelligent and moving book”.

In The New York Times, the reviewer A.O. Scott is strongly on team Eilis, and misses the focus on her inner monologue as this book passes between viewpoints of other characters – her former best friend Nancy and old flame Jim in Ireland: “Long Island is a busier book than its predecessors, more exciting in some ways but in others less satisfying. There is more plot — more incidents and coincidences, more twists and revelations — and less Eilis. Her point of view alternates with Jim’s and Nancy’s, which heightens the drama but also feels like something of a betrayal,” he writes. It is perhaps testament to how beloved the character of Eilis is to so many people that a reviewer can feel “betrayal” at the introduction of other characters’ viewpoints!

One thing is for sure – it is the must-read book of the summer, and we just couldn’t wait until November to invite Colm Tóibín to Dingle to discuss it. We’re thrilled to be hosting an evening event in The Blasket Centre on 20th July at 7.00pm; with esteemed broadcaster, musician and local legend Philip King interviewing the author, it’s set to be a fascinating conversation. 


Bígí linn in Ionad an Bhlascaoid, Dé Sathairn 20 Iúil ag 7.00in, nuair a bheidh an t-údar aitheanta Colm Tóibín (The Magician, Nora Webster, agus Brooklyn) faoi agallamh ag Philip King.