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An Old Woman's Reflections

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Peig Sayers, 'the Queen of Gaelic story-tellers', spent the greater part of her long life on the Great Blasket Island. She was a natural orator, and students and scholars of the Irish language came from far and wide to visit her. In this book, as an old lady, she muses and reflects on the days of her youth, recounting tales which evoke characters and an era now dead, and c ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published March 23rd 1978 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1936)
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Tim
Nov 22, 2011 Tim rated it liked it
This book is a series of stories and memories of an elderly woman who lived off the West coast of Ireland on the Blasket Islands. At one point there were 200 souls living in isolated conditions - fishing and sheep grazing. In the mid 1950s, with a declining population and way of life, the islands were officially abandoned as a region of permanent residence.

The unique way of small isolated village living is captured by the author Peig Sayers. It was a society where story telling necessarily was v
...more
J. Lynn
Aug 04, 2008 J. Lynn rated it it was amazing
When you read a work from a master oral storyteller who is attempting a different medium of communication for a first time, and that work also happens to be in translation, it can be a little difficult to be thrown into the book full force. This was the case with An Old Woman's Reflections for me, at least at first. It also didn't help that, like O'Cronan's The Islandman, An Old Woman's Reflections details a lifestyle so singularly foreign that it can initially seem overwhelming. My experience ...more
Elizabeth Quinn
Sep 02, 2009 Elizabeth Quinn rated it really liked it
As a novelist who sometimes writes historical fiction, I've found the memoirs of everyday people the most useful in learning the small but essential details of daily life way back when. By that I mean the memoirs produced by local history associations or university presses, not the "narrative non-fiction" blockbusters of today like Eat, Pray, Love or Running With Scissors. As a descendant of the Irish diaspora circa 1832, I'm especially interested in memoirs which can tell me what life was like ...more
Carmen
Sep 17, 2009 Carmen rated it liked it
I picked this book up this summer while we were in Dingle. I wanted to go to the Blasket Islands, but it was too foggy and rainy. I had expected a book along the lines of Alice Taylor's autobiographies, or like Frank McCourt's books. It was a big disappointment to me. The book is subtitled her life in the Blasket Islands. The 200 page book is set in Dingle, only the last 50 pages are in the Islands. She spends 150 pages on her first 18 years, and jams the rest of her long life in the last 50 pag ...more
Tom Schulte
Jul 02, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it it was ok
A good book for capturing the spirit and vibe of early 20th Century live on the Blaskets and coastal regions of Ireland. If there is any deficiency it a very "old person telling stories" feel about personal rembrances without context, no dates, etc. no coherence or order to the recollections. Still, this works pretty well as a tribute to a ghost: the half-remembered past of a gone, Gaelic culture.
Cindy
Sep 08, 2007 Cindy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: irish americans
Shelves:
I learned from this book that my life is not so bad. I also learned that stories can come from the most mundane events in life.
Mike Savage
Nov 28, 2013 Mike Savage rated it really liked it
Found the old style grammar and oral history feel engrossing. Reminded me a lot of The Islander. Well worth the time.
Cliona Hammond
Aug 11, 2013 Cliona Hammond rated it did not like it
I read in Irish, and hated it. So much repetition and heavy writing.
Kathyleistner Leistner
Apr 07, 2013 Kathyleistner Leistner rated it really liked it
Enjoyed, but think reading in Irish better.
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366423
Seanchaí agus dírbheathaisnéisí Éireannach ab ea í Peig Sayers (1873 - 1958).

Tháinig Peig Sayers ar an saol i nDún Chaoin, baile beag i gContae Chiarraí, Éire. Phós sí Pádraig Ó Gaoithín ón mBlascaod Mór, agus d'aistrigh sí ansin leis. Ní raibh léamh ná scríobh aici, ach seanchaí den scoth ab ea í. Ba dual athar di é, nó nuair a bhí sí óg, chluineadh sí na mílte scéalta agus eachtraí á n-insint ag
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“Cad é an mhaith dom eagla a bheith orm? Ní shaorfadh eagla duine ón mbás, dar ndóigh.” 7 likes
“Ar chualabhair riamh," arsa Eoghain, "ná fanann tráigh le headra agus ní lú mar a fhanfaidh an traein linne. Ní hé seo an tOileán agaibh go bhfanfaidh an naomhóg libh go mbeidh sibh ullamh."

Chuir sin imníomh orainn agus bhú gach aoinne ar a dhícheal ag baint an stáisiúin amach. Nuair a shroicheamar é ba dhóigh leat nár cailleadh aoinne riamh, bhí a oiread sin daoine ann. Bhí gach carráiste lán.”
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