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Over Nine Waves


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About the Author

Marie Heaney was born in County Tyrone, Ireland. She trained as a teacher in Northern Ireland and received a Master's degree in Irish Studies at University College, Dublin. She writes for both television and newspapers, and her collection for adults, Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends, was published by Faber in 1995. The Names Upon the Harp, a book of stories for children, with illustrations by P. J. Lynch, was published in 2000. Marie Heaney lives in Dublin with her husband, the poet Seamus Heaney.


The legends journalist Heaney skillfully and suspensefully retells are interlinked episodes of the mythological prehistory of Ireland, a chronicle of heroic deeds, power struggles, magic, and passion. The core narratives of Irish culture--featuring the children of Lir, the voyage of Bran, the life of Cuchulainn, Deirdre, Finn, and Oisin-- are here animated by the gamut of human emotions: love, loyalty, grief, pride, and jealousy. Brief histories of Patrick, Bridget, and Columcille add a note of religious passion at the end. Violence abounds, but a young warrior must be as familiar with poetry as with weapons; and women assume important roles as leaders, poets, warriors, and healers. Although there are several volumes of Irish myths in print (most recently, Miranda Green's Celtic Myths , Univ. of Texas Pr., 1994), there is still room for one as thorough and as well written as this. Essential background for every reader of Irish literature.-- Patricia Dooley, Univ. of Washington Lib. Sch., Seattle

"Essential background for every reader of Irish literature." --Library Journal

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