Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of seven novels including The Blackwater Lightship and The Master, both of which were shorlisted for the Booker Prize, and Brooklyn, which won the Costa Novel Award. The Testament of Mary, his most recent novel is shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize. He has also published two collections of short stories, Mothers and Sons and The Empty Family. He is currently Mellon Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Nora Webster is his eighth novel.