In January 1895 Henry James anticipates the opening of his first play, Guy Domville , in London. The production fails, and he returns, chastened and humiliated, to his writing desk. The result is a string of masterpieces, but they are produced at a high personal cost. In The Master Colm Tóibín captures the exquisite anguish of a man who circulated in the grand parlours and palazzos of Europe, who was astonishingly vibrant and alive in his art, and yet whose attempts at intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. It is a powerful account of the hazards of putting the life of the mind before affairs of the heart.
Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of four other novels, The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona and The Sign of the Cross. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in Dublin.