Bestselling, award-winning author Colm Tóibín will discuss his spectacularly audacious, violent, vengeful, lustful, and instantly compelling new novel “House of Names” a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her children.
Tóibín visits the recurrent subject of the mother in his novels in this reimagining of the Ancient Greek tragedy of the House of Atreus told in four parts. The mother here is the despised and cursed Clytemnestra, whose damning historical reputation he counters by making her more human and understandable. This is a story that dwells on the themes of betrayal, loss, grief, corruption, power, failure, loneliness and repression. It is told through the perspective of Clytemnestra, her son and daughter, Orestes and Electra, and the ghost of Clytemnestra.
Agamemnon betrays and sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, on her wedding day to win the Trojan war. Clytemnestra is grief stricken and seeks to assuage her desperate loss by dreaming of and planning the murder of Agamemnon.
Where Tobin excels is in his depiction of the character of Clytemnestra who comes alive effortlessly through his prose. The language he deploys is often sublime, expressive, and vivid. He creates a doom laden picture of palace intrigue and an unsettling atmosphere. It is a timeless tale whose echoes can be heard throughout our human history.
Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, including 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. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.
In collaboration with the White Hart, Oblong Books & Music and the Scoville Memorial Library.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 6 – 8 pm
White Hart Inn
15 Undermountain Road