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Chance Meetings Session 2: Colm Tóibín on Henry James’s “The Jolly Corner”

Monday, June 10, 2024


12:30 pm Eastern


Colm Tóibín on Henry James’s The Jolly Corner

Join novelist and critic Colm Tóibín, who conjured Henry James in The Master, for a discussion of “The Jolly Corner,” one of James’s last works of fiction and the last to be set in New York, the city of his birth.

“In this story, written after his American sojourn of 1905, Henry James found a new doubled self to dramatize: the man who had left New York and lived in England, and his double, still haunting him, who had never left, who still wandered those same rooms which would fill James’s autobiography and had filled his novel Washington Square,” writes Tóibín. “In its intensity and stark imagery, ‘The Jolly Corner’ is one of James’s most autobiographical works, dealing with matters that are haunting and unresolved.”

Students are encouraged to read the featured text in advance of the session.

A Q&A will follow the presentation, and a recording will be made available for those who cannot attend live.

The event will take place via Zoom with automatic closed captioning. To request any other accessibility features, please email and we will make every effort to accommodate.


Colm Tóibín is the author of eleven novels, including Long IslandThe Magician, winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster; as well as two story collections and several books of criticism. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and has been named as the Laureate for Irish Fiction for 2022–2024 by the Arts Council of Ireland. Three times shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.

Chance Meetings: online literary seminars featuring writers talking about classics of American literature

Presented by the Authors Guild Foundation, this new online literary seminar is inspired by Rachel Cohen’s A Chance Meeting, a dazzling group biography that offers a striking vision of the making and remaking of the American mind and imagination from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.

Following the book’s spirit and shape, the monthly sessions feature talks on beloved and thought-provoking classics of American literature by contemporary writers with a personal connection to the works they are discussing. Cohen herself will lead two talks and circulate an e-newsletter to students in the weeks between sessions.

View all Chance Meetings events here.