Cover "The Master" by Colm Tóibín ©Amerikahaus München

"The Master" by Colm Tóibín

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 6 p.m.

Henry James, the author of last month's book under discussion, is the protagonist of The Master by Colm Tóbín.  The 2004 novel, which has garnered a host of prizes, depicts James at the end of the nineteenth century.  Though rich and famous, he resolves to remove himself from the public eye by buying a home in remote Rye, East Sussex, where, reflecting on his relations in America and Europe, he reckons with the social and psychological costs of a writer's life.  Tóbín, who identifies as gay and deliberately employed Jamesian techniques of composition (such as channeling silence and writing the novel by hand in an uncomfortable chair), channels the Master as he defty plumbs the perennial mystery of James' sexuality in this deep and meditative work.

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Photo: © Amerikahaus München

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