The Empty Family
In the breathtaking long story “The Street,” Tóibín imagines a relationship between Pakistani workers in Barcelona—a taboo affair in a community ruled by obedience and silence. In “Two Women,” an eminent and taciturn Irish s...more
Once again Toibin presents a stunt cent ...more
They all concern people alienated in some way from home and family, and usually returning home if only temporarily. I'm not sure if I like collections of stories to be as themed and alike as this. I think one advantage of a collection of stories is ...more
In the first short story we have the story of a man who has moved away from his family and especially from his mother until he finally returned to her only for her last moments. So he is confronted with his memori ...more
Some of the stories in this book left me wanting more, wanting to know what actually ha ...more
"Silence," the first story in this collection by Colm Tóibín, is different from the others, being set in the 1880s and telling of Lady Gregory's love affair with the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt—this long before her creative association with Yeats. The theme of a remembered love affair, however, crops up in several of the other stories, all of which are contemporary or set in Tóibín's lifetime; many of them have a strongly autobiographical air.
The title story, "The Empty Fami ...more
The stories, set in Dublin, Barcelona, and America, all capture moments of difficult intimacy: the desire, pain, and loss between men and women, men and men, men and their mothers and grandmothers, and women and their families. In each, Toib ...more
I'm not an avid reader of short stories, they usually leave me unsatisfied, but I loved Brooklyn, Colm Toibin's award winning recent novel so I decided to try again. The Empty Family is a collection of nine short stories which are linked by the themes of exile, loneliness and family. Most of the protagonists find themselves in limbo-like situations, caught in a pivotal moment where the past and present collide, where home and belonging seem vague and elusive concepts.
All of the stories (whether ...more
But my evaluation of this book is probably not totally fair, because Brooklyn is still fresh in my mind, and I love Brooklyn with ...more
Some of the stories are better than others, I loved One Minus One which deals with a son returning to Ireland ...more