Colm Toíbín was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978. Out of his experience in Barcelona he produced two books, the novel The South (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times / Aer Lingus First Fiction Award) and Homage to Barcelona, both published in 1990. When he returned to Ireland in 1978 he worked as a journalist for In Dublin, Hibernia, and The Sunday Tribune, becoming features editor of In Dublin in 1981 and editor of Magill, Ireland’s current affairs magazine, in 1982. He is the author of Brooklyn. His other novels include The Heather Blazing (1992, winner of the Encore Award); The Story of the Night (1996, winner of the Ferro-Grumley Prize); The Blackwater Lightship (1999, shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Prize and the Booker Prize and made into a film starring Angela Lansbury), among others.