Books in Common NW: Doireann Ní Ghríofa & Éireann Lorsung

Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 1:00pm

Explore the bestselling GHOST IN THE THROAT, Doireann Ní Ghríofa's prose debut with poet Éireann Lorsung.

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Traverse the blurring lines of poetry and prose, past and present, fiction and memoir with Doireann Ní Ghríofa's bestselling prose debut The Ghost in the Throat - alongside acclaimed fellow poet Éireann Lorsung.

Many writers have used classic literary works as a lens for examining their own lives, but none have ever provided the visceral thrill that Doireann Ní Ghríofa has. She doesn't meditate on a mysterious 18th-century Irish lament, she wrestles with it, turning it over and over to reveal myriad intimate connections to modern motherhood and marriage. To read A Ghost in the Throat is to hold in your hands a living, beating heart.

Book cover of A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ni Ghriofa

"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.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, whose awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University). Her debut book of prose is the bestselling A Ghost in the Throat, which finds the 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill haunting the life of a contemporary young mother, prompting her to turn detective, and of which the Sunday Times writes: “Sumptuous, almost symphonic, in its intensity … As readers, we should be grateful for her boldness. Without it, we would not have had one of the best books of this dreadful year.”

Éireann Lorsung is the author of The Century, winner of the 2021 Maine Literary Award, as well as two previous collections of poems: Her book and Music for Landing Planes By, which was named a New and Noteworthy collection by Poets & Writers. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2016. Since completing an MFA at the University of Minnesota, Lorsung has studied printmaking and drawing at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice and taught high school in rural France. While living in Belgium, she ran a micropress called MIEL Books and a residency space called Dickinson House for writers and artists.

A Ghost in the Throat Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771964111
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Biblioasis - June 1st, 2021

The Century: Poems Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571314833
Availability: Available in Warehouse. Wait for Email Confirmation for ETA
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 13th, 2020

Event address: 
Country Bookshelf
28 West Main Street
Bozeman, MT 59715