Thomas Mann grew up at the end of the nineteenth century in a wealthy merchant family in Germany, under the shadow of a conservative and distant father and a mother who came from Brazil. Young Man hides his artistic ambitions from his fatherand his most homosexual tendencies of all.
After the father's sudden death, the boy dares to focus on writing. Within a few years he becomes the most successful writer of his time and later wins the Nobel Prize. Thomas Mann writes about himself: the novel "Bodenbrook House" is based on his childhood experiences; The novel "Death in Venice" was written after a vacation in Italy, where he was fascinated by a boy he met on the beach; "Magic Mountain" was written following a visit to a sanatorium. He also wrote a provocative story about his wife Katya - young and brilliant, daughter of a rich Jewish family - and her twin brother. All the while, in order to keep the family intact, he had to struggle with his most hidden passions and face family tragedies.
When Hitler came to power, the family members were persecuted, wandered between Switzerland, France and the United States and were condemned to prolonged exile and public life, against their will.
In a witty and graceful style, Colum Toibin succeeds in articulating profound insights and revealing the masks behind which Mann hid - "the magician", as his children called him. With great talent he distills an intimate and touching portrait of a great artist, a reluctant immigrant, against the background of the most turbulent years in the twentieth century.
Colm Toibin, an Irish writer, playwright, poet and journalist, authored many books and won numerous awards for his works