The Ten Best Books in Irish 23 December 2013 – Posted in: News

The December edition of the Irish language literary magazine Comhar has a list of ‘Na Deich Leabhar Gaeilge is Fearr a Foilsíodh ó Chasadh na Mílaoise’ (‘The Ten Best Irish Language Books Since the Start of the Millenium’). We’re delighted to say that Cois Life’s authors did themselves proud in the poll. Here is the countdown:

10. Scéal Ghearóid Iarla, Máire Mhac an tSaoi (Leabhar Breac, 2013)

9. Úlla, Seán Mac Mathúna (Cois Life, 2005)

8. Leabhar Mór na nAmhrán, Micheál Ó Conghaile, Lochlainn Ó Tuairisg agus Peadar Ó Ceannabháin (eag.) (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2013)

7. An tAthair Pádraig Ó Duinnín – Bleachtaire, Biddy Jenkinson (Coiséim, 2008)

6. An Tionscadal, Tomás Mac Síomóin (Coiscéim, 2007)

5. An Fear nach nDéanann Gáire, Micheál Ó Conghaile (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2003)

4. An Fuíoll Feá: Rogha Dánta, Liam Ó Muirthile (Cois Life, 2013)

3. Fontenoy, Liam Mac Cóil (Leabhar Breac, 2005)

2. An Cléireach, Darach Ó Scolaí (Leabhar Breac, 2002)

  1. Trén bhFearann Breac, Máirín Nic Eoin (Cois Life, 2005)


The magazine itself features a short piece about each of the books by a well-known reviewer and below we give a little taste of what was said about the Cois Life title. Better still, go buy the magazine itself, of course, and read the full descriptions – and all the other interesting material which appears in Comhar of course.

Úlla (Seán Mac Mathúna)

‘The reader of Úlla is never in any doubt but that these stories are true literature, real writing that can’t be taught of learned. If the author was at pains to mould the raw materials of the stories to perfection, there’s no trace of effort or striving discernable.’   Ian Ó Caoimh

An Fuíoll Feá: Rogha Dánta / Wood Cuttings: New and Selected Poems (Liam Ó Muirthile with translations by Gabriel Rosenstock)

‘For the most part integrity is more important than outward beauty in Ó Muirthile’s poetry as he struggles with his own stubbon feelings or with conflicted aspects of the external world: the deaths of friends and relations, family relationships and a yearning for the distant, the unattainable.’   Louis de Paor

Trén bhFearann Breac (Máirín Nic Eoin)

‘That Trén bhFearann Breac has topped this poll which Comhar organized shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone; it’s a learned, sophisticated book but it’s also eminently readable. Anyone involved in the culture, literature, language planning or the future of the Irish language should read this book and consider what it says  …
Cois Life are the publishers, a company that has done more than its share of good for Irish letters since its establishment in 1995 …
One of the book’s many gifts is how effortlessly it expresses complex opinions and involved theories. The language and style are sophisticated, yes, but also natural and rooted in the tradition of the language, so that one can read and understand clearly without any undue difficulty.’  Brian Ó Conchubhair

Not only that, but An Fuíoll Feá: Rogha Dántá / Wood Cuttings: Selected Poems was voted the best book of collected poetry overall and Gonta by Alex Hijmans was named in the top ten collections (it came sixth) of short stories in Irish since the start of the millenium.

« Guest-blog with Alex Hijmans – A fondness for ink
Leabhar Laethanta by Donla uí Bhraonáin (Cois Life, 2013) »