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A Ghost In The Throat - Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2020 - Signed Bookplate Edition
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A Ghost In The Throat - Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2020 - Signed Bookplate Edition (Paperback)

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Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2020 - Signed Bookplate Edition


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

Introducing our 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Year: A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa—the unforgettable literary non-fiction story of a famed eighteenth-century Irish mourning poem, the forgotten life of its female writer, and the author’s personal obsession with restoring her to memory.

A Ghost in the Throat

In the 1700s, the husband of Irish noblewoman Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill died, a murder orchestrated by a wealthy British landowner. Theirs was a great love, a tragic love, frozen forever in the poem ‘The Keen for Art Ó Laoghaire’—a mourning, a stricken wail, a blood-drinking fire-breathing vengeance-hurling lament that has been called the greatest poem of the eighteenth century from across Ireland and Britain.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is happy with her life, counting the myriad minor particulars of a mother and a wife. Hers is a life of to do lists, laundry, picking up toys, of breast pumps and milk banks and hospital trips. But as tragedy courts the borders of domesticity, she hunts the great keen and its author haunts her back; she builds a bridge, emotional and investigative, into the centuries-past, into the forgotten life of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill that seems to mirror her own—the life of a great poet, but a woman, and thus barely recorded except through the letters of men.

A Ghost in the Throat is a story of a mutual haunting across the years, of literary inspiration and the staying power of a great text. But it’s also about the restoration of a woman in history, and the idea of a female text: the Keen for Art Ó Laoghaire, A Ghost in the Throat itself, and the hidden work of women everywhere—as essential to the world as history recorded, yet so often overlooked, unwritten, ephemeral.

Ní Ghríofa’s background as a poet shines through every sentence, sculpting her prose into strong, nourishing, thickly lyrical sentences that buzz with imagery and emotion. It’s an internal, maternal, archaeological story of obsession, a telling in which domesticity is never drab and history never dry, in which every sentence is a feast.

Also included is the text of the keen—both the original Irish poem and Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s translation.


BiographyMemoirsEssays & WritingEssays & JournalismLiterary essaysFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Tramp Press Publication Date: 08/12/2020 ISBN-13: 2369537075973  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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