Posts

A GHOST IN THE THROAT wins the JAMES TAIT BLACK BIOGRAPHY PRIZE

A Ghost in the Throat coverWe’re thrilled to share that on August 25, 2021, it was announced that Doireann Ní Ghríofa won the James Tait Black Biography Prize for her book A Ghost in the Throat!

Biography Judge Dr Simon Cooke, of the University of Edinburgh, called A Ghost in the Throat,

“A work of great and searching depth and generosity, as involving as it is luminous, that weaves poetry, memoir, biography and translation into a powerful celebration of female texts and a profound exploration of the way the voice and life of one poet echoes in the life and voice of another.”

The James Tait Black Prizes for Biography and Fiction are the UK’s longest-running literary awards. The winners are awarded £10,000. Doireann Ní Ghríofa won the Biography Prize while Shola von Reinhold won the Fiction Prize for their novel Lote (Jacaranda).

Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s book was chosen from a biography shortlist that featured The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire (Yale) by Kate Fullagar; Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture (Allen Lane) by Sudhir Hazareesingh; and Recollections of My Non-Existence (Granta) by Rebecca Solnit.

The winners of the £10,000 prizes were announced by author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson at a pre-recorded event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Learn about the James Tait Black Prizes here.

 

ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT

When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.

On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who has narrowly avoided her own fatal tragedy. When she realizes that the literature dedicated to the poem reduces Eibhlín Dubh’s life to flimsy sketches, she wants more: the details of the poet’s girlhood and old age; her unique rages, joys, sorrows, and desires; the shape of her days and site of her final place of rest. What follows is an adventure in which Doireann Ní Ghríofa sets out to discover Eibhlín Dubh’s erased life—and in doing so, discovers her own.

Moving fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and those who make it, A Ghost in the Throat is a shapeshifting book: a record of literary obsession; a narrative about the erasure of a people, of a language, of women; a meditation on motherhood and on translation; and an unforgettable story about finding your voice by freeing another’s.

ABOUT DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA

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.”

 

Check out A Ghost in the Throat at Biblioasis here!

 

A GHOST IN THE THROAT, STRANGERS, DEBT, VILLA NEGATIVA, ON TIME AND WATER, SEA LOVES ME, DRIVEN: Latest News!

We’ve gotten some fantastic coverage on a number of our titles here at Biblioasis in the last couple of weeks. Take a look at these reviews!

IN THE NEWS

Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A Ghost in the Throat was highlighted in the New York Review of Books, and in a starred review by Foreword Reviews! You can read the New York Review of Books article here, and the Foreword Reviews article here.

New York Review of Books reviewer Ange Mlinko writes:

“Ní Ghríofa is a poet through and through: in this prose work she writes lyrical sentences that make the physical world come alive … It was around Ní Chonaill’s time that a new poetic form was invented: the aisling, a dream vision of Ireland revealing itself to the poet as a beautiful woman in need of saving. Ní Ghríofa certainly gives us a new, feminist vision of a woman saving another woman, righting a historical imbalance that persists in women’s continued sacrifices.”

Michelle Anne Schingler writes in Foreword Reviews:

“History mutes women; it also depends on them. This paradox is at the heart of a A Ghost in the Throat, an extraordinary literary memoir that finds life in buried spaces … Feminist and feminine, A Ghost in the Throat gives defiant voice to hushed womanhood, in all of its pain and glory. Her images incandescent and brutal, Ní Ghríofa writes about the omens represented by starlings and about unearthed fragments of teacups, but also about caesarean scars, bleeding hangnails, and the consuming fire of her husband’s touch … A Ghost in the Throat is an achingly gorgeous literary exploration that establishes a sisterhood across generations.”

Visit their websites for the full reviews!

Order your copy from Biblioasis, or your local bookstore.

 

Andri Snær Magnason’s On Time and Water, and Mia Couto’s Sea Loves Me were both featured in reviews by the Winnipeg Free Press! The piece on Magnason can be read here, and the one on Couto can be read here.

Of On Time and Water, reviewer Joseph Hnatiuk had this to say:

“Compelling … This clarion call to action on the climate issue, coming from award-winning Icelandic poet and novelist Andri Snær Magnason, should be required reading for deniers of the greatest crisis humans have ever faced … A memoir and polemic featuring mythological stories, Icelandic folklore, cultural histories and science-driven extrapolations which effectively combine to send a strong message about the planetary damage humans are causing.”

While Rory Runnells wrote about Sea Loves Me:

“Extraordinary … Begin anywhere, with any story, and you as reader are safe within Couto’s world. The imagination is without limit, the poetic force is exhilarating and often disturbing, while the surprise of some is breathtaking … Couto is as much a master of the pointed anecdote as the longer tale.”

Check out the Winnipeg Free Press website for the full reviews.

Purchase your copy of On Time and Water from Biblioasis, or your local bookstore!

Order Sea Loves Me today from Biblioasis, or your local bookstore!

 

Strangers by Rob Taylor, Villa Negativa by Sharon McCartney, and The Debt by Andreae Callanan were all featured on CBC’s 55 Canadian poetry collections to check out in spring 2021 list! For a look at our poetry collections and more, check out the full list here.

Order your copy of Strangers at Biblioasis

Order your copy of Villa Negativa at Biblioasis

Order your copy of The Debt at Biblioasis, or your local bookstore!

 

And just last week, Marcello Di Cintio’s Driven was given a glowing shout-out on twitter by none other than Margaret Atwood!

Atwood wrote:

“An astonishing book about folks from all over, many of whom have been through total hell but have somehow made their way out … You never know who’s driving you. Each person contains multitudes.”

Purchase your copy of Driven at Biblioasis, or your local bookstore!