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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce

Colm Toibin: Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781760781149
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pub Date: 30/10/2018
  • Category: Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism
    Literature & literary studies / General
    Literature & literary studies / Literary theory
    Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
  • Imprint: Picador Australia
  • Pages: 192
  • Price: $29.99

'A father...is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses

In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Tóibín turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish a painting; to John Stanislus Joyce, a singer, drinker and story-teller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his work.

Colm Tóibín illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work.

Author Information

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of nine novels including The Master, Brooklyn, The Testament of Mary and Nora Webster. His work has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times, has won the Costa Novel Award and the Impac Award. His most recent novel is House of Names. He has also published two collections of stories and many works of non-fiction, including New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families. He lives in Dublin.