Nora Webster

Publisher: Emblem Editions
Now available in paperback, a magnificent new novel from one of contemporary literature's most acclaimed and beloved authors. In a small town in Ireland in the 1960s, a fiercely compelling, too-young widow and mother of four moves from grief, fear, and longing to unexpected discovery. Toibin's portrayal of the intricacy and drama of ordinary lives brings to mind of the work of Alice Munro.

     Set in Wexford, Ireland, and in breathtaking Ballyconnigar by the sea, Colm Toibin's tour de force eighth novel introduces the formidable, memorable Nora Webster. Widowed at 40, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world she was born into. Wounded and self-centred from grief and the need to provide for her family, she struggles to be attentive to her children's needs and their own difficult loss. In masterfully detailing the intimate lives of one small family, Toibin has given us a vivid portrait of a time and an intricately woven tapestry of lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business, and where well-meaning gestures often have unforeseen consequences. Toibin has created one of contemporary fiction's most memorable female characters, one who has the strength and depth of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. In Nora Webster, Colm Toibin is writing at the height of his powers.


"A powerful study of widowhood and grief." --The Observer
"There are few fiction writers whose words reach out to us from the very first sentences of a book, compelling our assent and our delight. Tóibín is one of these writers.... Reading down the first page of Tóibín's new novel, Nora Webster, I know that this novel is the real thing, rare and tremendous." --Tessa Hadley, The Guardian
"Heart-rendingly transcendent.... Mr. Toibin's prose often has an elegant, visceral simplicity as he describes the slight otherworldliness that Nora finds in her new, solitary life as a widow." --Janis Maslin, The New York Times