*Graveyard Clay* [Cré na Cille]

The author is Máirtín Ó Cadhain, and I am surprised how compelling I am finding this novel, translated from the Irish.  The premise is that the dead inhabitants of a graveyard complain and bicker about their lot, most of all about the new arrivals sent their way.  Dear reader, these are NIMBY dead people.  Imagine Dante’s Inferno, but instead of the elegant circles of hell it resembles the kind of squabbling and black humor you might find in a cranky Irish pub.


I wonder what sort of funeral I had?  I won’t know until the next corpse I’m acquainted with arrives.  It’s high time now for someone to come.

This is a well-known novel, especially in Ireland, and often it is considered the best Irish-language novel of all time.  But I’ve never heard people telling other people they ought to read it, and in that sense it doesn’t seem so very well known in the United States at all.  This is the translation I have been enjoying.


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