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Colm Toibin: Mary, Catholics and Ireland

Colm Toibin and Geraldine

Geraldine Doogue meets Irish writer Colm Toibin, accused of blasphemy for his latest work, a reimagining of Mary, mother of Jesus, 20 years after his crucifixion.

Colm Toibin has published 16 books, three of which have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, one of the world’s richest and most celebrated writing awards.

He’s considered Ireland’s greatest living writer, and one of the world’s finest novelists. But Toibin’s newest work, The Testament of Mary is perhaps his most controversial. In it Mary recalls the finals days of her son Jesus and the aftermath of his crucifixion, but this Mary is a major departure from Christianity’s version.

Geraldine talks with Colm Toibin about his Irish-Catholic roots, his latest work and the Catholic Church in Ireland today.

Colm Toibin: Mary, Catholics and Ireland; Compass 6.30pm ABC-TV1 October 20

www.abc.net.au/compass/comingup.htm