A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa - review by Laura Hackett

Laura Hackett

Lives of Mothers

A Ghost in the Throat

By

Tramp Press 224pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

Doireann Ní Ghríofa has already made a name for herself as a bilingual poet, capable of transforming ordinary objects into wonders. A Ghost in the Throat is her prose debut, a combination of autofiction and literary enquiry, and it does not disappoint. This remarkable book follows the life of its author as she writes, looks after her family, gives birth and, crucially, immerses herself in the life and writing of an 18th-century Irish woman, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

Known primarily as the aunt of the Catholic emancipation campaigner Daniel O’Connell, Eibhlín wrote a beautiful lament (or keen) for her murdered husband, Art O Laoghaire. Ní Ghríofa’s love of the poem leads her to produce her own translation of it (found at the end of the book), research the

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