Cover of this title
Colm Tóibín

This Irish novel is about social difficulties in mid 20th century Ireland, emigration, and cultural identity. The book follows Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who is not cannot find work. Thus, she decides to immigrate to the United States as she, too, heard of the American Dream. After some initial difficulties, she falls in love with Tony, a young Italian, and they start planning a life together. When Eilis’s sister dies, she needs to travel to Ireland, where she can support her family and mourn her sister. Before she leaves, Eilis and Tony secretly marry. Back in Ireland, however, she experiences home and meets her old love again.

The novel explores the historical emigration situation at that time in Ireland from a plain and heartwarming angle. It also focuses on the different cultural experiences, which makes it valuable for lessons about English-speaking countries beyond the US and the UK. Also, there is an excellent adaptation movie available that might be used for teaching the novel.

· · 2009

Critical edition

Tóibín, Colm. Brooklyn. Penguin, 2018. 256 pp., ISBN 9780241983782

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In favour of this entry

  • Award-winning
  • Beyond the US and the UK
  • Democratic and political education
  • Explores historical contexts
  • Intercultural perspectives

Adapted as

  • Audiobook
  • Film