A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, VOGUE, AND THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A dazzling, epic family saga set across a half-century spanning World War I, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War, from the bestselling author of Brooklyn and The Master.
When the Great War breaks out in 1914 Thomas Mann, like so many of his fellow countrymen, is fired up with patriotism. He imagines the Germany of great literature and music, that had drawn him away from the stifling, conservative town of his childhood, might be a source of pride once again. But his flawed vision will form the beginning of a dark and complex relationship with his homeland, and see the start of great conflict within his own brilliant and troubled family.
Although Thomas Mann becomes famous and admired, his inner life is hesitant, fearful, and secretive. His blindness to impending disaster in the Great War will force him to rethink his relationship to Germany as Hitler comes to power. He has six children with his clever and fascinating wife, Katia, while his own secret desires appear threaded through his writing. He and Katia deal with exile bravely, doing everything possible to keep the family safe, yet they also suffer the terrible ravages of suicide among Thomas’s siblings and their own children.
In The Magician, Colm Tóibín captures the profound personal conflict of a very public life, and through this life creates an intimate portrait of the twentieth century.