From Madame Bovary to Hedda Gabler, some of literature’s most passionate heroines find themselves under the fire of their times. In Tóibín’s The Testament of Mary, the Irish novelist took on nothing less than the mother of Christ. In his masterful new novel, Nora Webster, he portrays a fiercely compelling young Irish widow and mother of four navigating grief and fear and struggling for hope. Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers) joins Tóibín for a discussion about creating characters that erupt off the page, in novels where the political and the personal are locked in a deep and fascinating embrace.
Rachel Kushner is the author of two novels, Telex from Cuba and The Flamethrowers. Both received rave reviews, were shortlisted for the National Book Award, and were New York Times bestsellers.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do programs fill so quickly?
ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.
Where does ALOUD take place?
Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.
- Where should I park?
Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?
We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.
Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?
Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.