Cover of the reading guide for Brooklyn, with a still from the film version starring Saoirse Ronan.

New Reading Guide: Brooklyn

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 09 August 2022 > Pedagogy


A new addition to the programme limitatif LLCER anglais Terminale is Brooklyn by Irish novelist Colm Tóibín (2009). It’s a very approachable novel covering themes of exile, homesickness, first love and personal choice. We’re preparing a Reading Guide for the novel, coming out just after the Toussaint holidays.

Brooklyn is set in 1950s Ireland and New York. It follows Eilis Lacey, who is dispatched by her family to Brooklyn in search of work and a better future. But once she is finally settled there, she is called back to Ireland for a family emergency and will soon face a dilemma: return to New York or remain living a quieter, more predictable life in Ireland. It was adapted by novelist Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy) into a popular film starring Saoirse Ronan. Read more about the film here.

Colm Tóibín was born in 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where Brooklyn and several of his other works are set. Just like writers such as James Joyce, Tóibín has lived in exile much of his adult life, and yet returns to his home country in his fiction, poetry and plays. His first books were inspired by three years living in Barcelona after university, and has taught extensively in U.S. universities. In January 2022, he was named Laureate for Irish Fiction for a three-year term.

 Reading Guide
We’re currently preparing a new addition to our Reading Guide collection about Brooklyn. It will be published in November.



Webpicks Useful websites and online tools for classroom use
> Brooklyn Webpicks
Downloadable resources ready to use in class
> Studying “The Buddha of Suburbia” in LLCER