The Testament Of Mary

Hardcover | October 30, 2012

byColm Toibin

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In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel -- her keepers, who provide her with food and shelter and visit her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it;" nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died -- she fled, to save herself), and is equally harsh on her judgement of others. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Tóibín's tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

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In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel -- her keepers, who provide her with food and shelter and visit her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it;" nor that the "group...

COLM TÓIBÍN is the award-winning author of six internationally acclaimed novels, including The Blackwater Lightship, The Master, winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and, most recently, Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Novel Award and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:112 pages, 7.8 × 5.27 × 0.51 inPublished:October 30, 2012Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771084145

ISBN - 13:9780771084140

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Customer Reviews of The Testament Of Mary

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hauntingly Beautiful The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin is a hauntingly beautiful novel. Toibin’s graceful prose humanizes Mary. As readers, we feel her helplessness in the face of the inevitability of unfolding events, as well as her anguish at watching her son die so horrifically. She is brutally honest with herself and with the men who would endeavour to retell her and her son’s story in the way that suits them and their cause. The novel will probably not make the reading list at the Vatican, but never again will I look at the iconographic portraits of Mary and not think of this novel. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2013-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Testament of Mary Interesting point of view that has been missing up until now. Makes you wonder...
Date published: 2012-12-31

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Editorial Reviews

“An exquisite novella.” —The New Yorker “Powerful.” —Maclean’s “A monumental achievement…. A tender, soul-rending exploration of a mother’s mourning; a searing, stunning work.” —The Independent (U.K.) “A gentle, thoughtful reimagining of Mary’s own experience of her life. . . . An important and persuasive book.” —The Guardian  “Flawless … touching, moving and terrifying.” —New Statesman “A beautiful and daring work.” — New York Times Book Review “Tóibín has created an impressive work of religious imagination…. Haunting, highly original.” —  Times Literary Supplement  “A heartfelt, powerful work.” —Wall Street Journal “Dramatic and poetic… A powerful, devastating story.” —Washington Post “Beautifully crafted.” —The Times