Benneton Book Club Meetup

February's book will be the Lambda award winning book of short stories The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín.

Allow me to rave. Like his last two stunning novels, The Master and Brooklyn, the triple trinity of stories in Colm Toibin's new collection, The Empty Family, are at once elegiac and elegant. They are composed with a patient, quiet, utterly honest accrual of sparing detail (though punctuated occasionally by graphic gay sex, always more grave than frolicsome). They offer mesmerizing portraits of exile and regret, deep estrangement and emotional reticence that lead to profound yet not altogether unwanted solitude.

His characters are often middle-aged Irishmen who have left home with no desire to return again; by the time they do, it's frequently for the death of a close relative, to "a landscape of endings," empty houses, and "sad echoes and dim feelings."

Many have severed attachments not just with unhappy childhoods but with lost, less than perfect loves. Like Henry James, whom he profiled so vividly in The Master (and who appears in the masterfully multilayered story "Silence"), and like the young woman caught between two worlds in Brooklyn, they're a lonely lot, these characters. Yet for all that, aside from some twinges of regret, they prefer to maintain their distances, feeling better off protected by their emotional moats.

From NPR.

Join or login to comment.

  • Stacy P.

    Too stress-y of a month for me, and I didn't get to read the book. See you guys next month, I hope!

    February 13, 2013

  • Barb

    Once again, my two jobs and school are conspiring to keep me from coming . I do love this author, and will miss the conversation. Enjoy.

    February 13, 2013

  • Barb

    Once again, my two jobs and school are conspiring to keep me from coming . I do love this author, and will miss the conversation. Enjoy.

    February 13, 2013

  • Urszula

    Cannot make it to the meeting :(
    Have a great time!

    February 13, 2013

  • Urszula

    Cannot make it :(

    February 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, got called into work tonight - please let me know what movie yall want to see

    February 13, 2013

  • Barb

    I've read the first 3 stories last night, and I love this book!! Especially since it took me back to Point Reyes, CA and great memories.

    January 12, 2013

10 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more
Bill

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy