They mess you up, your mum and dad. So said the poet Philip Larkin, and Tóibín must agree. In this lively exploration of writers and their families, the Irish novelist argues that Yeats and Beckett had to imagine the symbolic deaths of their domineering parents before they could write about their homeland. Elsewhere in New Ways To Kill Your Mother, he takes on closeted gay dads (Cheever) and absent mothers (Austen) with great biographical anecdotes. There’s more storytelling than analysis, but the gossip is fascinating. Let’s just say Thomas Mann’s family is one that both Freud and V.C. Andrews would’ve loved. B+
MAMA DRAMA This anecdote-filled book proves that hating your parents is a universal grievance, after all W.B. Yeats and Jane Austen wished their parents dead
Genre: Nonfiction; Author: Colm Toibin; Publisher: Scribner
Posted June 15 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Doctor Strange' director on casting controversy
- Chris Evans surprises young volunteers at 'Captain America' screening
- Read an excerpt from Agatha Christie's new novel 'Closed Casket'
- Beyoncé adds new dates to Formation tour
- Avengers take on Ultron in 'Marvel Heroes 2016' game update
- The Hold Steady announce 'Boys & Girls in America' anniversary shows
- How Hot 97 inspired Anohni's dark new album 'Hopelessness'