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Sample from Hurlamaboc (Audio Book)

By Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

The adventures of three teenagers living in the Dublin suburbs - Ruán, Emma and Colm. All neighbours of the same age but with different personalities, backgrounds, and social class, preparing for the Leaving Cert. An accident turns everything on its head. They get to know one another better and after all the hurlamaboc have grown and developed.

Every teenager will recognise Rúan, Emma and Colm. They will enjoy their company as they grow through their adventures. The book offers an insight into the social prejudices and bigotry in Ireland today. This is a readable, inspiring and humorous novel which will be enjoyed by all, young and old alike.

This book was also published in Gaidhlig under the title of Ùpraid (2006).

Extracts from interview with Ciara Dwyer, Sunday Independent, 07 May 2006:
“I’ve always had a secret life under the surface” says Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. “That was the life of books”. The Dublin writer sits in the front room of her Shankill home, gazes out at the vast sea and smiles. There are daffodils on the mantelpiece, dreamy paintings in the wall, and in the corner there is a piano with some sheet music. Surrounded by the arts she seems happy; as content as the white cat outside who swishes his tail up in the air, then rubs his head against the window sill, while the sun shines in.

Although the author who was shortlisted for the Orange prize she sees herself primarily as a short story writer, she is also a novelist, a playwright and an author of children’s fiction, and then she has a whole writing career in Irish. Her latest book, Hurlamaboc, an Irish-language novel for teenagers is about middle-class Ross O’Carroll-Kelly types who get tangled up in all sorts of shenanigans.

Although she went to an all-Irish school, and even learnt Old and Middle-Irish at UCD, she only began to write in Irish when somebody asked her. “We weren’t a Gaeilgeoir family. My mother didn’t speak Irish but she was very pro-Irish. I never heard my father say he loved Irish but he was a native speaker from Donegal. Some families were adamantly nationalistic and Irish was the rule. We weren’t at all like that. My father would use it for prayers and greetings”.

She attributes writing in Irish to an emotional connection with her late father. This fresh strand to her writing then blossomed. While Éilís got her blas from her father, her mother reared the family - she has a sister and a brother - with the belief that they could do anything, which was some achievement, considering money was tight and their daily lives full of drudgery.

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