Between 1990 and 1994, Colm Toibin made a series of trips through Catholic Europe. His journey led him into close contact with people from all walks of life, from priests to politicians, from the intellectually open to the spiritually bigoted. He then set down his impressions in The Sign of the Cross, a beautifully written book filled with personal detail set within its historical context.
Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of several novels, including Brooklyn, the 2009 Costa Novel of the Year, The Master, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize and winner of the LA Times Book Prize and the IMPAC Book Award, and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize and the 2001 IMPAC Award. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona, The Sign of the Cross and Love in a Dark Time. He is also the author of two short-story collections, Mothers and Sons, which was awarded the inaugural Edge Hill Prize, and The Empty Family, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in Dublin.