The Testament of Mary

by Colm Tóibín

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780241962978
  • 9780241962992

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2013

From the author of Brooklyn comes a short, powerful novel about one of the most famous mothers in history.

In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.

As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.


  • Penguin Books Ltd; October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780241962992
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Testament of Mary
  • Author: Colm Tóibín
  • Imprint: Penguin
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780241962978
  • 9780241962992

In The Press

Tóibín's weary Mary, sceptical and grudging, reads as far more true and real than the saintly perpetual virgin of legend. And Tóibín is a wonderful writer: as ever, his lyrical and moving prose is the real miracle.


About The Author

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 Booker 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. He lives in Dublin.