The Testament of Mary

By Colm Toibin
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781451688382, 81pp.)

Publication Date: November 13, 2012

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Description

Coming in April 2013: A major one-woman Broadway show starring Fiona Shaw, directed by Deborah Warner, and produced by Scott Rudin. Colm Tóibín's provocative, haunting, and indelible portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity.

In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son’s crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel—her keepers, who provide her with food and shelter and visit her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was “worth it;” nor that the “group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye,” were holy disciples. Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died—she fled, to save herself), and is equally harsh on her judgement of others. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Tóibín’s tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.




About the Author
Colm Toibin is the author of eight novels, three of which have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: "The Blackwater Lightship", "The Master "(the "Los Angeles Times" Novel of the Year), and "The Testament of Mary". His other novels include "Nora Webster" and "Brooklyn". He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, a regular contributor to the "New York Review of Books", and a contributing editor at the "London Review of Books".
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