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From the PublisherJohn Banville
Is it permissible even to speak, as so many do nowadays, of a "gay community"? Tóibín treats [this] and many other questions with confidence and authority, both of which attributes are only strengthened by the moderation of his tone and the depth of his compassion. He writes with rare tenderness of figures as disparate as Elizabeth Bishop and Francis Bacon, Thomas Mann and Roger Casement, Thom Gunn and Pedro Almodóvar.
Times Literary Supplement
It is Colm Tóibín's great strength that he is able to attune himself to nuances, and to the ways in which people "invent" themselves.
Tóibín demonstrates wonderfully how a dedicated writer always thinks with other writers: their lives and sexuality, as well as their work. Tóibín can be engagingly mischievous and witty, but is deeply serious about books.
Tóibín is a superb technician with a brave soul.
Tóibín writes with high-voltage restraint; his sentences are masterfully devoid of trickery...He is tuned in to the silent language of families, the messages that are unspoken and slip past the rest of the world, landing deep into the hearts of those who understand.