Author(s): Colm Tóibín
In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel -- her keepers, who provide her with food and shelter and visit her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it;" nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died -- she fled, to save herself), and is equally harsh on her judgement of others. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. T ib n's tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.
MAN BOOKER SHORTLIST 2013.
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin is a book I had my eye on for quite a while. It was a rather beautiful read, a brave imagining of the often depicted but rarely explored character of Mary. Through her eyes, Toibin recounts the experience of losing her son Jesus and what impact it had on her life. A subtle and interesting read. - Clare
Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2013
Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955 and currently lives in Dublin. He is the author of five previous novels, collections of short stories and many works of non-fiction. He has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for The Blackwater Lightship (1999) and The Master (2004), while The Master won The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2006).