The Heather Blazing
The sea is slowly eating into the land and the hill with the old watchtower has completely disappeared. The nearest house has crumbled and fallen into the sea. It is Ireland in the late twentieth century. Eamon Redmond is a judge in the Irish High Court. Obsessed all his life by the letter and spirit of the law, he is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Toibin reconstructs the history of Eamon's relationships - with his father, his first "girl, " his wife, and the children who barely know him. He gives us a family as minutely realized as any of John McGahern's, and he writes about Eamon's affection for the landscape of his childhood on the east coast of Ireland with such skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel that ensnares us with its emotional intensity and dazzles with its crystalline prose. In The Heather Blazing, Colm Toibin displays once again the gifts that illuminated The South, a book described by Don DeLillo as "a grand achievement, " and by John Banville as "a daring imaginative feat...a splendid first novel."
Winner of Encore Award 1993.
'The novel is narrated dispassionately and with deceptive simplicity, moving between the public figure of the judge in his study and the terrible deaths of childhood ...It is impossible to read Toibin without being moved, touched and finally changed' - Linda Grant, Independent on Sunday
'Superbly accomplished. Exquisitely crafted ...a small triumph of intensity' - Observer
'A quiet but stunning Irish novel, which seems to derive its clear and affecting style in part from the staunch personality of its protagonist' - New Yorker
Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of six novels, most recently Brooklyn, the 2009 Costa Novel of the Year, and The Master, shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. He has also written two collections of stories, The Empty Family and Mothers and Sons, and several works of non-fiction.