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The Testament of Mary

ISBN: 9781451688382 | 1451688385
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Scribner
Pub. Date: 11/13/2012

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A highly original and provocative imagining of the life of the Christian and cultural icon Maryfrom one of today's most "immensely gifted and accomplished" ( The Washington Post) novelists. Provocative, haunting, and indelible, Colm TÓibÍn's portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospelher keepers, who provide her with food and shelter and visit her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it;" nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son diedshe fled, to save herself), and is equally harsh on her judgment of others. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes, in Toibin's searing evocation, a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. This tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.


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