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A Ghost in the Throat cover art

A Ghost in the Throat

By: Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Narrated by: Siobhán McSweeney
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Summary

Nominated for the Desmond Elliot Prize 

A true original. In this stunningly unusual prose debut, Doireann Ní Ghríofa sculpts essay and autofiction to explore inner life and the deep connection felt between two writers centuries apart.

In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem. Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill s Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, famously referred to by Peter Levi, professor of poetry at Oxford University, as 'the greatest poem written in either Ireland or Britain during the eighteenth century'.

In the present day, a young mother narrowly avoids tragedy. On encountering the poem, she becomes obsessed with its parallels with her own life, and sets out to track down the rest of the story. A Ghost in the Throat is a devastating and timeless tale about one woman freeing her voice by reaching into the past and finding another's.

©2020 Doireann Ní Ghríofa (P)2021 W F Howes

What listeners say about A Ghost in the Throat

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Spellbinding

'Now could I drink hot blood ', declares Hamlet. He doesn't but Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonall finding her husband murdered on the hillside does just that. Little wonder than that Eibhlin is an unquiet ghost haunting Doireann, this novel and it's readers. When I first read this book I had one of those love affairs with it you occasionally get where you want to read it all in one sitting, resent anything that stops you and also never want to finish it. On the second reading I find myself as entranced, Doireann brings Eibhlin so utterly to life, weaves her into her own life too and creates a female text of towering proportions out of the quotidian of childcare and cleaning. The 'pram in the hall ' no barrier to creativity here. I hope you read it and love it even half as much as me,this book is spellbinding or it is nothing.

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just beautiful

will be relistening to this one for years to come
beautiful book happy to recommend 😀

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Poetic, original and deeply touching

The self reflective story of a woman's journey through childbirth, breast-feeding and weaning and the forgotten 18th century poetess that inspired her, nourished her and haunted her. A really beautiful text. I gobbled it up.

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1 person found this helpful

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Lyrically beautiful

This is something very different. Lyrically beautiful and interesting parallels with life of a mum to young kids. I found the pace slow at times and content more of a historical text.

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Beautiful

A beautiful stitching together of a woman, a mother, a writer and a wife with her quest to recognise the voice and being of one that has been lost to the shadow.

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Stunning

I’m bereft now that this audiobook has ended.
I learned about Daniel O’Connell in school but took little heed, grew up close to Raleigh House and The Gearagh but never considered the rich tapestry of lives of the women around him.
My only concern is the almost obsessive focus on breastfeeding. Would this alienate someone who was unable or unwilling to breastfeed?

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unique & compelling

Enjoyed this unique book. The authors honesty, vulnerability and passion shines throughout. A fresh perspective on Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire and homage to Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chinaill. A great " female text".

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Amazing writing

Amazing writing with superb narration by Siobhan McSweeney. Loved the inter mingling of life and history

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Yawn

Couldn’t wait for it to end but felt obliged to listen to the end - left me feeling numb and annoyed when not numb.

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Deeply meaningful - narrated superbly

Others have addressed the potency & beauty of Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire but Doireann Ní Ghríofa explores fully its fathomless debts with remarkable poignancy, imagination & forensic research. As an audio-book A Ghost in the Throat has a compelling structure transcending limits of time and ways of knowing. The narration by Siobhán McSweeney is exquisite & authentic matching the quality of Ní Ghríofa’s writing.

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