Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce
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In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers.
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'A father...is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish a painting; to John Stanislus Joyce, a singer, drinker and story-teller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his work. Colm Toibin illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work.
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Colm Toibin 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 Man Booker Prize 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, including New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families. He lives in Dublin.