Love in a Dark Time
Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar
In Love in a Dark Time, Colm Tóibín looks at the life and work of some of the greatest and most influential artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His subjects range from figures such as Oscar Wilde, born in the 1850s, to Pedro Almodóvar, born nearly a hundred years later. Tóibín studies how a changing world impacted on the lives of people who, on the whole, kept their homosexuality hidden, and reveals that the laws of desire changed everything for them, both in their private lives and in the spirit of their work.
‘Tóibín treats his subject with confidence and authority, both of which attributes are only strengthened by his moderation of tone and the depth of his compassion. He writes with rare tenderness of figures as disparate as Elizabeth Bishop and Francis Bacon, Thomas Mann and Roger Casement, Thom Gunn and Pedro Almodóvar’ John Banville, Irish Times
‘Such readings are crucial, for it is only when homosexuality is removed from the margins and placed at the very heart of the cultural canon that the world predicted by Tóibín in which “being gay will no longer involve difficulty and discrimination” will come to pass’ Michael Arditti, The Times
‘Tóibín writes with high-voltage restraint; his sentences are masterfully devoid of trickery . . . He is tuned in to the silent language of families, the messages that are unspoken and slip past the rest of the world, landing deep into the hearts of those who understand’ Robert Sullivan, Vogue