Pól Ó Muirí
At the beginning of the last century, the writer Pádraic Ó Conaire lamented – if memory serves me right – “the tyranny of the school book”. His complaint, as a creative writer of the first order, was that he could not make a livelihood out of his fiction but had to rely on school books to make a few bob. A hundred years on, no one is complaining about the “tyranny of the novel for the adult learner”. In fact, the genre is one that has flourished in recent years with many writers (including this journalist) more than happy to give it go in the hope that it encourages more adults to read Irish.
Poet Áine Uí Fhoghlú is the latest to try her hand at the novel for adult learner with Crúba na Cinniúna (Coiscéim, €7.50). With two collections of poetry under her belt, this is her first foray into the learners’ arena – and a happy one too for she won first prize at Oireachtas na Gaeilge 2009 for this work which tells the story of Siobhán, a young teacher, who witnesses an event on the way home one night. As usual with these kind of publications, the sentences are short and punchy, there are key words and phrases at the bottom of the page and a glossary at the end.