Award-winning writer and literary critic Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, Ireland in 1955. He studied history and English at University College Dublin, earning his B.A. in 1975. After graduating he moved to Barcelona for three years and taught at the Dublin School of English. In 1978 Tóibín returned to Dublin and began working on an M.A. in Modern English and American Literature. He wrote for In Dublin, Hibernia, and The Sunday Tribune. Tóibín became the Features Editor of In Dublin in 1981, and then a year later accepted the position of Editor for the Irish current affairs magazine Magill. His first book, "Walking Along the Border," was published in 1987, and his first novel, "The South," debuted in 1990. Tóibín wrote for The Sunday Independent as a drama or television critic and political commentator. He has penned several more novels and a travel book, plus edited anthologies and a book of essays, created a play, and written regularly for The London Review of Books. Tóibín's second novel, "The Heather Blazing," received the 1993 Encore Award, and "The Master" achieved the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Tóibín has been a visiting professor or lecturer at many American universities. In recognition of his contribution to contemporary Irish literature, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in 2008.