A Ghost in the Throat

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

A New York Times Editors' Choice
Winner: James Tait Black Prize
Winner: Book of the Year, Irish Book Awards
Winner: Foyles Books of the Year  
Shortlists: Rathbones Folio Prize, Republic of Consciousness Prize, Gordon Burn Prize 
A Book of the Year in The Guardian, The Observer, The New Statesman, The Irish Times, and The White Review


"ardent, shape-shifting... a hybrid of essay, biography, autofiction, scholarship... She pieces together Ní Chonaill’s life as if she is darning a hem, keeping the story from unraveling further.​" - Parul Sehgal, New York Times

“genre-defying​...​captivatingly original“​​ - The Guardian (Best Books of the Year)  

“A powerful, bewitching blend of memoir and literary investigation … Ní Ghríofa is deeply attuned to the gaps, silences and mysteries in women’s lives, and the book reveals, perhaps above all else, how we absorb what we love—a child, a lover, a poem—and how it changes us from the inside out.”— Nina McLaughlin, New York Times

"Ní Ghríofa is a poet through and through: in this prose work she writes lyrical sentences that make the physical world come alive... Metaphors and metonyms are her metier; omens and dreams are mirrors of deep mind." - The New York Review of Books

“Lush, lyrical prose that dazzles readers from the get-go… 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.” – The Sunday Times  ​

"A fascinating hybrid work... Lyrical prose passages and moving introspection abound in this unique and beautiful book." - Kirkus starred review  

​"​Ní Ghríofa’s essayistic and intimate style recalls the inter-disciplinary perambulations of W.G. Sebald and the uncompromising feminism of Maggie Nelson.” - Chicago ​R​eview of ​Books

 "A book that takes you and shakes you." - John Self, New Statesman

​​“In the work of the Irish writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa, history is amorphous, a living thing that frequently bleeds into or interrupts the lives of those in the present day. ” - The Paris Review

"Gorgeous... This book saved me this year." - Lauren Elkin, The White Review

“one of best books I’ve read in ages...unique and deeply moving.” - Nicola Sturgeon

“This exquisitely crafted memoir is written in blood and milk, and its publication marks an important event in the maturing of Irish literature… I grieved when I closed this book, and found the only remedy was to turn back to the first page, and begin this masterpiece over again.” – The Sunday Business Post

“A book like this comes along once every few years and obliterates every clear definition of genre and form. I mean no exaggeration here: A Ghost in the Throat is astounding and utterly fresh… This is no tepid and stuffy reimagining of an 18th-century life. It is borne of great personal scholarship, without ever seeming polemical. This book has a long life ahead of it, burning bright and inspiring many.” – The Irish Independent  

“there is something that sets A Ghost in the Throat apart, an otherworldliness or older-worldliness… strange and beautiful.” – The Irish Times

“a landmark in Irish writing... exhilarating... a sprawling interrogation of self and of womanhood that is unlike anything else.” - The Stinging Fly