New Ways to Kill Your Mother

New Ways to Kill Your Mother

Writers and Their Families

By Colm Toibin

Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9781451668568, 345pp.

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Description
Novelist and critic Colm Toibin provides a fascinating exploration of writers and their families ("Entertainment Weekly") and an excellent guide through the dark terrain of unconscious desires ("The Evening Standard") in this brilliant collection of essays that explore the relationships of writers to their families and their work.
Novelist and critic Colm Toibin explores the relationships of writers with their families and their work in the brilliant, nuanced, and wholly original "New Ways to Kill Your Mother."
Toibin celebrated both for his award-winning fiction and his provocative book reviews and essays traces the intriguing, often twisted family ties of writers in the books they leave behind.
Through the relationship between W. B. Yeats and his father, Thomas Mann and his children, Jane Austen and her aunts, and Tennessee Williams and his sister, Toibin examines a world of relations, richly comic or savage in their implications. Acutely perceptive and imbued with rare tenderness and wit, "New Ways to Kill Your Mother "is a fascinating look at writers most influential bonds and a secret key to understanding and enjoying their work.


About the Author
Colm Toibin is the author of seven novels, including "The Blackwater Lightship;" "The Master", winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; "Brooklyn", winner of the Costa Book Award; and "The Testament of Mary", as well as two story collections. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Toibin lives in Dublin and New York.


Praise For New Ways to Kill Your Mother

“A typical Tóibín essay describes the arc of a writer’s development and life, and uses the writer’s own words to draw graceful conclusions about his temperament and biography…Tóibín’s skill at glossing the lives of great writers is on display in his latest essay collection.”

-Andrew Martin


“Tóibín finds an engaging multiplicity of detail. And his critical voice is as seductive as the widely varying voices in his novels.”

-Donna Rifkind


“Tóibín is a masterly novelist who is also a fine critic…powerful.”

-Mira Sethi


“[Toibin possesses a] vast understanding of fiction and its uses, and a mind that processes novels and ideas like a rumbling supercomputer...Mr. Toibin is such an adept and morally serious close reader that his criticism becomes nearly as galvanizing as his fiction. There really aren’t, it turns out, any new ways to kill your mother, at least not artistically. But all the old ways, in Mr. Toibin’s telling, still work rather beautifully.”

-Dwight Garner


“[A] lively exploration of writers and their families…Fascinating.”

-Melissa Maerz


“[Tóibín writes] shrewdly and passionately as both critic and novelist.”

-Fred Setterberg


“Like all fine critics, Tóibín inspires readers to go back to the work, and he brings a human aspect to the works of seemingly deracinated authors like Beckett and Jorge Luis Borges…It’s a pleasure to watch Tóibín rove through 19th and 20th-century literary history.”



“Tóibín excels when discussing craft…[New Ways to Kill Your Mother is] chock-full of biographic detail that will interest ardent readers.”