A Ghost in the Throat

Category: Book
By (author): Ní Ghríofa, Doireann
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
  LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Women Authors
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Biblioasis
Published: June 2021
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 7.75in x 5.00in
Our Price:
$ 22.95
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

An Post Irish Book Awards Nonfiction Book of the Year

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.

In the eighteenth century, on discovering her husband has been murdered, an Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament that reaches across centuries to the young Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose fascination with it is later rekindled when she narrowly avoids fatal tragedy in her own life and becomes obsessed with learning everything she can about the poem Peter Levi has famously called "the greatest poem written in either Ireland or Britain" during its era. A kaleidoscopic blend of memoir, autofiction, and literary studies, A Ghost in the Throat moves fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and the people who make it.

Review Quote*

Praise for A Ghost in the Throat

"One of the best books of this dreadful year ... Billed as a genre-busting blend of ‘autofiction, essay, scholarship, sleuthing and literary translation', the book is an extraordinary feat of ventriloquism delivered in a lush, lyrical prose that dazzles readers from the get-go ... When you write like this there is almost nothing a writer cannot get away with."-Sunday Times

"Past versus present, blood versus milk, birth versus death, the Irish language versus the English: dichotomies abound, but the questions of women's lived experiences and who history remembers link them all."-Paris Review

"A book like this comes along once every few years and obliterates every clear definition of genre and form. I mean no exaggeration here: A Ghost in the Throat is astounding and utterly fresh."-Irish Independent

"With luminous language and candid details, this book shimmers with honesty and scholarship. A truly original read."-Sunday Independent

Biographical NoteDoireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose books explore birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Doireann's awards include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA, 2018), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen's University, 2018), the Ostana Prize (Italy, 2018), and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (2016), among others. She is a member of Aosdána and this is her prose debut.