Doireann Ní Ghríofa weaves two stories together in A Ghost in the Throat, an original hybrid of essay, memoir, scholarship and sleuthing.
In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, on discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem that reaches across the centuries. In the present day, a young mother narrowly avoids tragedy in her own life. On encountering the poem, she becomes obsessed with finding out the rest of the story. The poem is Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire by Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, famously referred to by Peter Levi as ‘the greatest poem written in either Ireland or Britain during the eighteenth century’.
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