The Testament of Mary

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Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.5 X 0.6 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Colm Tóibín is the author of ten novels, including The Magician, winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections and several books of criticism. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and has been named as the Laureate for Irish Fiction for 2022-2024 by the Arts Council of Ireland. Three times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.


"A heartfelt, powerful work."--Sam Sacks "The Wall Street Journal "
"Dramatic and poetic...A powerful, devastating story."--Ron Charles "The Washington Post "
"A deeply, if at times painfully, human portrait of Mary, tearing asunder the robes of red and blue that envelop her in paintings and sculptures."--Michael O'Loughlin "America magazine "
"[A] monumental achievement...equally powerful and poignant whether it's read by one who espouses or eschews the New Testament...A tender, soul-rending exploration of a mother's mourning; a searing, stunning work."--Leyla Sanai "The Independent (UK) "
"There is a profound ache throughout this little character study, a steely determination coupled with an unbearable loss. Although it has some insightful things to say about religion and the period--the descriptions of the Crucifixion are visceral--it has a universal message about the nature of loss. 'I can tell you now, when you say he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.'"--Stuart Kelly "Scotland on Sunday "
"This novel is the Virgin's version of the life of Christ. After a lifetime listening to everyone else's versions of that life, she is angry and frustrated because they are all questionable."--John Spain "Irish Independent "
"A flawless work, touching, moving and terrifying..."--Linda Grant "The New Statesman (UK) "
"Lovely, understated and powerfully sad, The Testament of Mary finally gives the mother of Jesus a chance to speak. And, given that chance, she throws aside the blue veil of the Madonna to become wholly, gloriously human."--Annalisa Quinn "NPR "
"A slim, grave, exquisitely emotional book...The Testament of Mary is a spellbinding, surprisingly reverent book."--Jeff Giles "Entertainment Weekly "
"Tóibín is at his lyrical best in The Testament of Mary, a beautiful and daring takes its power from the surprises of its language, its almost shocking characterization, its austere refusal of consolation."--Mary Gordon "The New York Times Book Review "
"Mary--silent, obedient, observant--has echoed down two millennia, cementing a potent ideal in the Western imagination. Now the masterful Irish writer Colm Tóibín puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version in The Testament of Mary."--Karen R. Long "Cleveland Plain Dealer "
"Tóibín applies a Joycean ruthlessness...Imagining himself into Mary's interior life is his boldest jump yet."--Hermione Lee "The New York Review of Books "
"Tóibín's intimate approach make Mary feel more credible and human...The result, The Testament of Mary, feels true."--Claire Cameron "The Millions "
"Tóibín suffuses the story with a sense of mystery and makes the reader feel (perhaps as never before) the tragedy of the crucifixion."--Macy Halford "Buzzfeed "
"With this masterly novella, Tóibín has finally tackled the subject of Christianity--and he has done so with a vengeance...Nowhere in this beguiling and deeply intelligent, moving work is Mary's attention to detail more instrumental (and more like a novelist's) than in her account of her son's death...In a single passage--and in a rendition, furthermore, of one of the most famous passages of western literature--Tóibín shows how the telling and the details are all-important."--Robert Collins "Sunday Times (UK) "
"The Testament of Mary is an important and persuasive book: Tóibín's weary Mary, sceptical and grudging, reads as far more true and real than the saintly perpetual virgin of legend. And Tóibín is a wonderful writer: as ever, his lyrical and moving prose is the real miracle."--Naomi Alderman "Observer (UK) "
"[An] exquisite novella...Tóibín gives a familiar story startling intimacy."--The New Yorker
"Reading this perfect little novella is like watching someone light a candle inside a lantern."--The Age (Australia)
"A stunning interpretation that is as beautiful in its presentation as it is provocative in its intention."--Booklist
"[A] poignant reimagining of the last days of Christ."--Publishers Weekly
"[The Testament of Mary] builds to a provocative climax, one that is as spiritually profound as its prose is plainspoken...A work suffused with mystery and wonder."--Kirkus Reviews