Song of Duiske

By: John A. Ryan

Publication Date: 4 Oct 2006


Song of Duiske by John A. Ryan

In south Kilkenny, where Duiske stream joins the river Barrow at Graiguenamanagh, lies one of Ireland’s many Norman-Cistercian abbeys. Song of Duiske is a novella set amongst this monastic community in the year 1304, a century after the abbey’s foundation. It evokes the textures and rhythms of a medieval religious settlement, its peaceful routines as well as occasional trials, and celebrates with quiet lyricism the seasons and their solaces, ‘the open sky, the fields and the woods’.

‘A little bouquet of beauty … every page throws up a gem.’Vincent Lawrence, Sunday Press

‘Vision-like in its effect, to be savoured rather than gulped … a small classic of Irish literature.’Seán Dunne, The Cork Examiner

‘A tiny masterpiece … like a miniature painting. If I were forced to live on a desert island, the little book I would want with me would be Song of Duiske.’Pat Donlon, RTE’s ‘First Edition’

‘This little treasure is a bedside companion and with a newly designed eye-catching cover it could make its way to become a classic Irish tale.’ Customer review


John A. Ryan’s first book, Song of Duiske (Lilliput, 1989, 2006), was described by Sean Dunne as ‘a small classic of Irish literature’ (Cork Examiner) and by Pat Donlan, national librarian, as ‘a tiny masterpiece … like a miniature painting’ (RTÉ). His novella, Mo’soor: Song of the Road, was published by Lilliput in 2013. John is a retired teacher and currently lives in Waterford.

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Weight 0.25 kg
Dimensions 215 × 135 mm
Publication Date

4 Oct 2006


Paperback, 64pp