Lost in Connemara: stories from the Irish

Paperback review

Lost in Connemara: stories from the Irish
Author: Ed. Brian Ó Conchubhair
ISBN-13: 978-1-78444-099-2
Publisher: Cló Iar-Chonnacht
Guideline Price: €12

The short story was a staple of Irish-language literature in the 20th century and shows no sign of passing away in the 21st. Brian Ó Conchubhair has selected five stories in this bilingual collection, which give a glimpse of the genre’s trajectory from the beginning of the last century to the early years of this one. Pádraic Ó Conaire opens the collection, followed by Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Both will be well known to speakers of Irish. Happily, the other authors – Pádraic Breathnach, Joe Steve Ó Neachtain and Micheál Ó Conghaile – are all still with us. All five pieces are excellent. If you are not fluent in Irish you can read the evocative translations concerning life, love and loss with pleasure. If you are fluent you can reacquaint yourself with original writing and be the better for it. To read in one language or the other, one must turn the book upside down. A commentary on the relationship between Irish and English in literary matters, perhaps?