Oein returns with ghostly folktales


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Oein returns with ghostly folktales Oein returns with ghostly folktales

Tuam writer Oein DeBharduin is a busy man. Earlier this year, his children’s book, The Slug and the Snail, was published. A beautifully illustrated story, it’s a parable of how, despite coming from different backgrounds or taking different paths in life, people are people.

Last month, his latest collection, Twiggy Woman: Ghostly Folktales, hit the shelves. Illustrated by Helena Grimes, this is a collection of ghost stories drawn from the oral tradition of the Traveller community.

Storytelling remains strong among his people, Oein says, and eerie stories in particular contain wise advice on dealing with unexpected situations. They also show what’s important and “reveal the threads of connection between our mundane outer lives and our deeper inner world in which we are much bigger, wilder and weirder than we outwardly appear”.

There’s a glossary at the end, translating the Gammon words spoken by travellers, which explains that ‘griwog’  is a fairy and a ‘buffer’ is a settled person, while ‘weéd’  is tea and ‘liba’  means bloody.

Published by Skein Press Twiggy Woman is a fascinating offering from Oein, whose debut collection, 2020’s Why the Moon Travels, was a bestseller and won twice at the 2021 KPMG-Children’s Books Ireland Awards.

It’s priced at €14.99 from good bookshops.

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