Oprah Winfrey's new book club pick is Colm Tóibín’s 'Long Island,' the sequel to 'Brooklyn'

NEW YORK — Colm Tóibín’s “Long Island,” the Irish novelist’s follow-up to the prize-winning immigrant tale “Brooklyn,” is Oprah Winfrey’s latest book club pick.

“Long Island,” published Tuesday, continues the story of Eilis Lacey, who left Ireland for New York City in the 1950s and is now trapped in an unhappy marriage to Tony Fiorello, the Italian plumber she met in “Brooklyn.” Set in the 1970s, the new book begins with Eilis facing the devastating news that Tony has made another man’s wife pregnant and that the woman’s husband plans to leave the child with her.

“I had so many mixed emotions reading this novel,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I was captivated. Tóibín builds the story around a woman whose life changes seemingly overnight with the news of her husband’s infidelity. It opens the door to her own secrets, grappling with choices she made long ago, urging her to break free from the silences she built around her life. A wonderful page-turner to start your summer reading.”

“Brooklyn,” published in 2009, was adapted six years later into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Saoirse Ronan.

Tóibín, 68, is a three-time Booker Prize finalist who has received numerous honors, from the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and International Dublin Literary Award for “The Master,” to the Costa Novel Award for “Brooklyn.” His other books include “The Testament of Mary,” “Nora Webster” and “House of Names.”

In a statement Tuesday, Tóibín echoed the responses of previous writers who have been called unexpectedly by Winfrey and told she had chosen one of their books.

“The voice at the other end of the phone was quiet, but also authoritative,” Tóibín said. “She said: ‘This is Oprah Winfrey.’ Somehow, it was clear that this was not a joke, not a hoax. I was tempted to say: ‘How are you?’ But I think I spluttered a bit instead. Eventually, I managed to say that I deeply admire the way in which she connects books to readers. And then I added, as though it was an afterthought, that I was so delighted that she had chosen mine.”

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