Colm Tóibín: Books of the Year

Marilynne Robinson: one of the finest contemporary writers

 

Before I read Lila, by Marilynne Robinson (Virago), which is one of the best novels I read this year, I got her four books of essays. For anyone interested in religion, or the fate of the Earth, or good thinking, or good writing, these essays are a marvel.

They also throw soft, persuasive light on Robinson’s novels. Lila, which is the third in a trilogy beginning with Gilead, confirms Robinson as one of the finest contemporary writers.

I love every book Tim Winton writes for the understated style and the rhythm and the sense of hard-won truth. This year I enjoyed his novel Eyrie (Picador), which is concerned, like Robinson, with poetic questions about solitude and the past and how to live in the world.

And for sheer bravery and for style, for its integrity of vision and for its uncompromising tone, I also admired Rob Doyle’s Here Are The Young Men (Lilliput).

Colm Tóibín’s most recent novel, Nora Webster, is published by Viking
 

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