Colm Tóibín’s “A Guest at the Feast”

April 14, 2023

Subscribe on Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud

Do you love listening to the LARB Radio Hour? Support the production of this weekly podcast on books, art, and culture. Donate today.

Colm Tóibín joins Eric Newman and Kate Wolf to speak about his latest collection of essays, A Guest at the Feast. The book brings together an inspiring range of pieces that Tóibín has published over the last three decades, from his visceral, forthright, and very funny essay on his cancer diagnosis and treatment, to the stirring title essay of the collection, which is an episodic remembrance of his youth in the small town of Enniscorthy in Ireland. The collection also features Tóibín’s political commentary, with pieces that draw on his days as a reporter and magazine editor—including coverage of the 1983 Supreme Court case against homosexuality in Ireland and his appraisals of three popes—as well as his masterful literary criticism in considerations of the authors Marilyn Robinson, Francis Stuart, and John McGahern.

Also, Jenny Liou, author of Muscle Memory, returns to recommend Koon Woon’s collection of poetry Water Chasing Water.