“Brilliant… The selfish side of human nature is…made tangible and graphic in Tóibín’s lush prose.”
Award-winning and critically acclaimed Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels including The Master, Brooklyn, The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections. The film adaptation of Brooklyn received three Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
In House of Names, Tóibín masterfully retells the myth of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon, and their three children. In the ancient story, Agamemnon, desperate for wind so he can sail to battle, sacrifices his oldest daughter. His wife, Clytemnestra, enraged and betrayed, plots her revenge and when Agamemnon returns triumphant from war, Clytemnestra murders him. In turn, Orestes, her only son, spurred to action by his sister Electra, murders Clytemnestra.
The story of this unblessed family gains new nuance and richness in Tóibín’s hands including an illuminating focus on Orestes. House of Names is about a fierce and ferociously dramatic family, and who is better on families, in all their complexity, than Colm Tóibín?