Scattered Love

By: Clíona Ní Ríordáin , Maylis Besserie

Publication Date: 22 June 2023


Scattered Love by Maylis Besserie, translated by Clíona Ní Ríordáin

She came in like a shadow. She slid and bore herself into my eye, between my eyelids which blinked against the dust.’

She is Maud Gonne, the muse of writer William Butler Yeats. In Scattered Love, Yeats returns as a ghost, after having been buried in France in 1939 in the cemetery of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, to be returned to Ireland a decade later. He emerges from his grave to recount his thwarted love with Maud, a story that merges with that of the independence movement of Ireland, of which they were both emblematic actors.

Yeats’ ghost has suddenly arisen because diplomatic documents long kept secret have resurfaced, casting doubt on the contents of the coffin brought back into Ireland for a state funeral. Where did the poet’s body go? Does he still hover, as he wrote, ‘somewhere above the clouds’? What remains of our loves and our deaths, if not their poetry?

Besserie’s exciting new novel Scattered Love follows on from Yell, Sam, If You Still Can (Le Tiers Temps), translated by Clíona Ní Ríordáin. In Maylis Besserie’s second novel, she turns her attention from Samuel Beckett to another iconic Irish writer, W. B. Yeats. The connection between France in Ireland is once again explored in the context of art, culture and the days at the end of life.

A Guardian Most Anticipated Book of 2023

An Irish Times Most Anticipated Book of 2023

An Irish Independent Most Anticipated Book of 2023



Maylis Besserie was born in Bordeaux and now lives in Paris. She works as a producer for the radio channel France Culture. Besserie’s connection with Ireland started when her family sent her to spend summers in Ireland to learn English. Yell, Sam, If You Still Can (Le Tiers Temps) was her first novel and won Le Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, 2020.


Clíona Ní Ríordáin is Professor of English at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, where she teaches Irish literature and translation studies and convenes the Master’s programme in Irish Studies. Her most recent book is English Language Poets in University College Cork 1970-1980 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

Available on backorder

Weight 0.500 kg
Dimensions 216 × 136 mm

Paperback w/ Flaps

Publication Date

22 June 2023

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