Almost 8 years ago (!), when I was studying abroad at University College Cork, my contemporary Irish literature professor assigned Blackwater Lightship, and since then I have been mildly obsessed with its author Colm Tóibín. I’ve been working my way through all of his books (and they range in genre including short stories, novels, memoirs, and literary criticism.) I’ve loved all of them. Many of them fall into the category of “things that are too important to me for me to write about in any coherent fashion.”
So instead, I will just give you my three favorite quotes from last night, remind you that sometimes it is great to meet your heroes (he was so kind and I’m inspired to write for the first time in ages), and tell you all to go buy his new book, or any of his old books.
“A novel loves money, it loves disappointment, it loves a marriage, it loves a marriage that does not happen.” – On novels as secular spaces
“If you’re a novelist, the most interesting part of a story is the blurred figure in the photograph.”
“Where I’m from the men didn’t say much, but the women would all be talking all at the same time.” – on why he writes with such power (to borrow a phrase from a question asker) in the voices of women