Tongulish is the language of sweet talk, babble and blather, quibble and quizzical. And Tongulish is spoken throughout Rita Ann Higgins's lively new collection. These are provocative and heart-warming poems of high jinx and telling social comment by a gutsy, anarchic chronicler of Irish lives and foibles, mischievous and playful in their portrayal of feckless folk and outcasts, flirts and weasels, gasbags and scallywags.
'It shouldn't be unusual to hear a smart, sassy, unabashed, female working-class voice in Irish writing. But it is. Higgins's achievement doesn't depend on that rarity value, but it is certainly amplified by it. Higgins is, quite consciously, an artistic outsider... a unique fusion of wry, deadpan humour on the one side and absolute sincerity on the other. She doesn't congratulate herself for her sympathy with those who are (in this case literally) outside the world of art. She simply sees and writes. Her humour and playfulness keep sentimentality and self-righteousness resolutely at bay... She has made what is still the most direct and powerful statement of the class divide in Irish society... The boom years had no great effect on Higgins's voice, on her point of view or on her style. She had a manic linguistic energy long before the hysteria of the Tiger era quickened the pulse of the culture as a whole: Higgins could be regarded, in one of her guises, as Ireland's first rapper... Her political satire hasn't lost its edge, but it no longer reads as a cry in the wilderness... Now the bubble's burst, we're left with our real treasures, and Rita Ann Higgins is one of them.' - Fintan O'Toole, writing in The Irish Times on Ireland Is Changing Mother.
'Higgins's voices are so distinctive and real that a whole world of semi-rural Irish poverty rises around the reader with the jolting acuity of an excellent documentary…an hilarious, absorbing and thoroughly disturbing experience.' - Kate Clanchy, Independent
'Rita Ann Higgins means a unique line in human warmth; and a unique colour of humour and a unique clarity.' - Paul Durcan
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|Size: ||209 KB|
|Publisher: ||Bloodaxe Books|
|Date published: || 2016|
|ISBN: ||9781780373041 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|