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Nov 2021 Meeting

In November, we read The Magician by Colm Toibin. This is a fictional account of Thomas Mann’s life. Toibin gives an insight into the author’s rigorous devotion to his craft and his complex relationship with his family and his sexuality. An active opponent to Nazism, Mann was initially embraced by the US government on his exile from Germany, then later considered a “suspected communist”, eventually forcing him to return to Europe. It was a fascinating read, inspiring some club members to read more of Thomas Mann’s novels, and we gave it 4 stars.

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Jacket Synopsis:
From one of our greatest living writers comes a sweeping novel of unrequited love and exile, war and family. The Magician tells the story of Thomas Mann, whose life was filled with great acclaim and contradiction. He would find himself on the wrong side of history in the First World War, cheerleading the German army, but have a clear vision of the future in the second, anticipating the horrors of Nazism.

He would have six children and keep his homosexuality hidden; he was a man forever connected to his family and yet bore witness to the ravages of suicide. He would write some of the greatest works of European literature, and win the Nobel Prize, but would never return to the country that inspired his creativity. Through one life, Colm Toibin tells the breathtaking story of the twentieth century.



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