A Ghost In The Throat (Paperback)
  • A Ghost In The Throat (Paperback)
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A Ghost In The Throat (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 224 Pages / Published: 27/08/2020
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Waterstones Says

Effortlessly combining both ravishing style and intellectual substance, A Ghost in the Throat traces the passage of a real-life classic of Irish poetry across the centuries, affirming the connections that great art instils in those willing to listen.

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Biography 2021

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize 2021

Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021

When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.

I am eleven, a dark-haired child given to staring out window … Her voice makes it 1773, a fine day in May, and puts English soldiers crouching in ambush; I add ditch-water to drench their knees. Their muskets point towards a young man who is falling from his saddle in slow, slow motion. A woman hurries in and kneels over him, her voice rising in an antique formula of breath and syllable the teacher calls a caoineadh, a keen to lament the dead.

A true original, this stunning prose debut by Doireann Ní Ghríofa weaves two stories together. In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem that reaches across the centuries to another poet. In the present day, a young mother narrowly avoids tragedy in her own life. On encountering the poem, she becomes obsessed with finding out the rest of the story.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa has sculpted a fluid hybrid of essay and autofiction to explore the ways in which a life can be changed in response to the discovery of another’s – in this case, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, famously referred to by Peter Levi as ‘the greatest poem written in either Ireland or Britain during the eighteenth century.’

A devastating and timeless tale about finding your voice by freeing another’s.

Publisher: Tramp Press
ISBN: 9781916434264
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Dazzles readers from the get-go... A contender for book of the year' - The Times

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Joanna Halpin

“This is a Female Text”

This is an astonishing work of auto fiction. Inspired by a passionate and gorgeous 18th century Irish poem : 'The Keen for Art O Laoghaire' handed down in the female oral tradition by its author Eibhlin... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 13

“Beautiful writing”

This book took me down a really lovely memory lane when I was a mum to a toddler and baby. I’d forgotten how much of a mental anchor a list was. Such a simple, mundane thing but it still helped to give focus amidst... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 7
Laura McGloughlin

“Powerful and gorgeously written search for a long-dead author”

Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire (The Keen for Art O'Laoghaire) is a poem every Irish person has to study in school, and I first read it when I was sixteen. It's a lament over Art O'Laoghaire's dead... More

Paperback edition
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