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Thirty-Two Words for Field: A plea to keep our grá for the Irish language or end up lost for words

Language: Thirty-Two Words for Field

Manchán Magan

Gill Books, 386 pages, hardcover €19.99

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'Bounty of knowledge': Manchán Magan. Photo by Michael Keegan Dolan.

'Bounty of knowledge': Manchán Magan. Photo by Michael Keegan Dolan.

Thirty-Two Words for Field by Manchán Magan

Thirty-Two Words for Field by Manchán Magan

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'Bounty of knowledge': Manchán Magan. Photo by Michael Keegan Dolan.

Manchán Magan's Walden-esque lifestyle goes before him. As well as building his own home from sustainable materials in Co Westmeath, we are told that the author and documentarian lives with "bees, hens and veg". At the risk of sounding cynical, it's almost as if the message is that with Magan, you are buying into a certain type of voice, one earthy and conscientious and slightly untethered from the shrill digital mania the rest of us sometimes feel tied to. Let him show you things you've missed, it says.

The thing about all this is that it's largely accurate. One only needs to wade a few pages into this rich and absorbing work to see that perhaps we could do with a lot more characters like him dotted about this world.


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