Nonfiction Book Group - Thirty-Two Words for Field, Manchán Magan

November 2022 Nonfiction

The November Nonfiction Book Group will be meeting via Zoom

Monday, November 28th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Session open to all, no registration required.

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The Irish language has thirty-two words for field. Among them are:

Geamhar – a field of corn-grass
Tuar – a field for cattle at night
Réidhleán – a field for games or dancing
Cathairín – a field with a fairy-dwelling in it

The richness of a language closely tied to the natural landscape offered our ancestors a more magical way of seeing the world. Before we cast old words aside, let us consider the sublime beauty and profound oddness of the ancient tongue that has been spoken on this island for almost 3,000 years.

In Thirty-Two Words for Field, Manchán Magan meditates on these words – and the nuances of a way of life that is disappearing with them.

"A rip-roaring, archaeological and anthropological exploration of the lyricism, mystery and oddities of the Irish language, and the layers of ancient knowledge encoded within." 
— The Irish Times

"The book I never knew I needed" 
— Caitríona Balfe

"If you’re in to Irish Mythology, Manchán has got some incredibly interesting theories about Irish mythology based on his understanding of the Irish language, and he’s got some theories about the roots of the Irish language that are going to blow your head off."
— Blindboy Boatclub

"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."  
— Hilary A. White, Irish Independent

"An accessible yet erudite stroll back through the Irish landscape" 
 Paddy Kehoe, RTÉ

"Manchán’s book, for which you don’t need a word of Irish, is a fascinating insight into our changing culture" 
— John Masterson, Irish Independent

"The amount of fascinating detail in there is enormous" 
 Dave Fanning

"This book is perfect for anyone who is looking to brush up on their Irish history, or delve a little deeper into their cultural heritage." 
— Áine O’Boyle, RTÉ

Manchán Magan

About the Author
Manchán Magan is a writer and documentary-maker. He has written numerous books on his travels and two novels. He writes occasionally for The Irish Times, reports on travel for various radio programmes, and has presented dozens of documentaries on issues of world culture. He lives in an oak wood, with bees, hens and veg, in a grass-roofed house near Lough Lene, Co. Westmeath.

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