It’s a rare treat to find two authors from seemingly opposite ends of the literary spectrum come together over a deep respect and fascination of each other’s work. In a special pairing on Thursday, November 6, critically acclaimed Irish novelist Colm Tóibín will be interviewed by New York Times bestselling L.A. local Rachel Kushner. They will take the stage at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills for a conversation about Tóibín’s new novel, Nora Webster, and to discuss their shared passion for some of literature’s most memorable characters.
Tóibín’s latest novel, Nora Webster, is a masterful portrait of a young Irish widow and mother of four’s transformation through grief. In Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, a gutsy young artist arrives in New York in 1977 driven to take risks at any cost. Hear these two luminous storytellers discuss and interpret each other’s fierce female protagonists following in the footsteps of the great Madame Bovary and Hedda Gabler. Learn more about getting tickets here, and to get ready for this special event we’ve gathered a few interesting reads below on Tóibín and Kushner’s latest novels.
Critics are around the globe are praising Tóibín’s Nora Webster:
–Jennifer Egan is stunned by its “high-wire act” as she writes in The New York Times’ Sunday Book Review.
—The Guardian calls it an “an Irish love story and a love letter to Irish readers from one of Ireland’s contemporary masters.”
–And if you loved Tóibín’s The Testament of Mary, The Washington Post says Nora Webster is even more “believable and, ultimately, more miraculous.”
Critics also unanimously agreed in their adimiration for Kushner’s The Flamethrowers:
–In The New Yorker, James Wood describes it as “scintillatingly alive, and also alive to artifice.”
—New York Magazine applauded Kushner in their 2013 “Culture Awards” because she “willfully stands apart” from the literary institution.
–And check out this special curation of art and photography by Kushner in The Paris Review.
Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, including The Blackwater Lightship; The Master (winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize); and Brooklyn (winner of the Costa Book Award); as well as two story collections and several books of essays, including Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar. The stage production of his novel, The Testament of Mary, starring Fiona Shaw, ran on Broadway in 2013, earning three Tony nominations. Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York, where he is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia. His newest book is Nora Webster: A Novel.