The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín
In the captivating stories that make up The Empty Family Colm Tóibín delineates with a tender and unique sensibility lives of unspoken or unconscious longing, of individuals, often willingly, cast adrift from their history.
'I imagined lamplight, shadows, soft voices, clothes put away, the low sound of late news on the radio. And I thought as I crossed the bridge at Baggot Street to face the last stretch of my own journey home that no matter what I had done, I had not done that.'
From the young Pakistani immigrant who seeks some kind of permanence in a strange town to the Irish woman reluctantly returning to Dublin and discovering a city that refuses to acknowledge her long absence each of Tóibín's stories manage to contain whole worlds: stories of fleeing the past and returning home, of family threads lost and ultimately regained.
'Exquisite . . . The chief reason to read these stories is the peculiar power of Colm Tóibín's prose' Telegraph
'Astonishingly precise, depicting complex and conflicted states of mind with rare clarity' Observer
'Beautifully observed' Sunday Times