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The final published work by the renowned Máirtín Ó Cadhain, this novella follows a widower as he attempts to plan his wife’s funeral arrangements without money, direction, or whiskey. Thrown into a desert of unknowing, he knows not where to turn or what to do. In a poignant meditation on regret, possibilities, maybes, and avoidances, the author portrays a man hopelessly watching as the people in the world go about their lives around him. With black humor sprinkled throughout, the book, a profound look at psychic loss and puzzlement by a writer at the height of his powers, illustrates Ó Cadhain’s conviction that tragedy and comedy are inextricably connected.
Bringing this work to an English-speaking audience for the first time, this volume includes an illuminating introduction by Alan Titley, whose skillful translation captures the spirit and tone of the original.
A Note From the Publisher
Praise for Alan Titley's earlier translation, of Máirtín O Cadháin’sThe Dirty Dust:
"Titley renders the tirades and flytings with the exact ear for dialogue which has characterised his own novels . . . here at last is a version done by a scholar who is also an artist."
—Declan Kiberd, TLS
"The high energy of the Irish masterpiece is translated to another kind of energy . . . Titley is one of the few — in the world — who possesses the necessary combination of linguistic and literary skills required for the task, and he has made a difficult work readable and accessible in more ways than one."
—Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Financial Times
“The Dirty Dust is a feat of translation: vigorous and fun, each line rendered with idiomatic aplomb . . . Titley, like Ó Cadhain, is an accomplished wordplayer.”
—William Brennan, New Yorker