Brooklyn and Beyond: Colm Tóibín’s Portraits of Irish Life | Newberry

Brooklyn and Beyond: Colm Tóibín’s Portraits of Irish Life

Led by Joseph Heininger
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Six sessions. Tuesdays, March 8-April 12



Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet both virtually and in the building for the Winter/Spring term. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to Registration opens Wednesday, January 19th at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Register via Learning Stream here

Seminar Description

Irish writer Colm Tóibín has published many novels that portray plot and character in depth and engaging detail. We will first read his novel Brooklyn, in which he depicts the education in life and love of a young Irish emigrant to 1950s Brooklyn, Eilis Lacy. In Nora Webster, he explores the emotional costs of the decisions a woman with four children makes to reclaim her life after her husband’s untimely death. Tóibín has a reputation as an insightful writer, and his novels and stories are acclaimed for their portraits of female characters..

Six sessions. Registration – $230/$207

Joseph Heininger is a Professor of English at Dominican University. He has published on Seamus Heaney’s Dante and Joyce’s Ulysses. His article on Irish poets’ elegies for Seamus Heaney appeared in 2020, and he is writing a study of Seamus Heaney and Translation.

Materials List


  • ColmTóibín, Brooklyn. (Scribner, 2015) ISBN: 978-1978-1-501106477;

  • Colm Tóibín, Nora Webster. (Scribner, 2014) ISBN: 978-1-4391-91-3833-5;

  • ColmTóibín, Mothers and Sons. (Scribner, 2007) ISBN: 978-1-4165-3465-5.

First Reading:

  • Please read the first 70 pages of Brooklyn for the first session.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 19th . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry uses Learning Stream for all Adult Education Seminar registrations. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.