Kirsty Young talks to writer Colm Toibin.
Kirsty Young's castaway is the writer Colm Toibin.
Best-known for his novels "Brooklyn" - now made into a film - "Nora Webster" and "The Master," he has been nominated for the Booker Prize three times.
Born in 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, the second youngest of five children, Colm's life changed suddenly when his father died after a long illness when he was twelve. He says he has been dealing with the trauma which resulted in his writing ever since. After attending St Peter's College in Wexford and University College Dublin, he spent three years in Barcelona teaching English before returning to Ireland. He worked as a journalist until his books began to get published.
He once told a class he was teaching that "you have to be a terrible monster to write. I said, 'Someone might have told you something they shouldn't have told you, and you have to be prepared to use it because it will make a great story. You have to use it even though the person is identifiable. If you can't do it then writing isn't for you. You've no right to be here. If there is any way I can help you get into law school then I will. Your morality will be more useful in a courtroom.'"
Producer: Christine Pawlowsky.