Author(s): Colm Toibin
For four years from 1990, Colm Toibin made a series of trips through Catholic Europe. The result is this beautifully wrought book. He shows the complications and contradictions of the Catholic Church, and tries to unravel how they in turn influence a country's sense of nationalism. It is not quite a travelogue, nor is it autobiographical. Rather, it is a work that tests both faith and the written word, a work that redefines what we have come to expect from non-fiction. 'Colm Toibin writes beautifully in a spare style that allows for plain description, high humour and effects that are carefully toned. He is at once an honest, uncertain pilgrim with a press card and a sense of devilment, and a son on an Oedipal trail' - Sean Dunne, "Irish Times". 'A mixture of autobiography, travelogue and journalism which tantalises the reader with what it withholds as much as it entertains and instructs with what it describes..."The Sign of the Cross", like all good writing, is a treat' - "Independent on Sunday". Furst published 1994.
Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of five novels, most recently The Master which was shorlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona and The Sign of the Cross. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in Dublin.