Our ancestors developed a uniquely nature-focused society, centred on esteemed poets, seers, monks, healers and wise women who were deeply connected to the land.
They used this connection to the cycles of the natural world – from which we are increasingly dissociated – as an animating force in their lives.
In this illuminating new book, Manchán Magan sets out on a journey, through bogs, across rivers and over mountains, to trace these ancestor’s footsteps. He uncovers the ancient myths that have shaped our national identity and are embedded in the strata of land that have
endured through millennia – from ice ages through to famines and floods.
See the world in a new light in this magical exploration into the life-sustaining wisdom of what lies beneath us.
Signed copies from MayoBooks.ie
Listen to the Land Speak
A journey into the wisdom of what lies beneath us
Publisher: Gill Books (6th Oct 2022)
Hardback. 386 pages
Irish Times Feature by Manchán Magan, 2nd Oct 2022 - here. "We Irish tend to be a bit wary of our myths and legends. We pretend to enjoy them; buying watered-down versions to read to our children, and recounting these same simplified versions to tourists, but heaven forbid that we ever engage with them in a meaningful way.
Our science-based, materialistic mindset allows no space for such fripperies, beyond as charming eccentricities of a simpler past. Yet in a time of such change and turmoil myth might be just the resource we need to help guide us back to where we ought to be."
Irish Times Review by Una Mullaly, 15th Oct 2022 - here
"Much of Manchán Magan’s work is concerned with loss and the retention of precious remnants. In his Tamagotchi projects, Magan sought to preserve Irish words slipping from the lexicon. In 32 Words for Field (2020), which began as a cult hit, becoming one of the most talked-about Irish books in recent times, the focus was on the wealth of beauty within the Irish language and how it connects us to place, spirituality, nature and each other.
In Listen to the Land Speak, he offers a fractal version of Ireland, where myth overlaps with history, the fantastical with the practical, the superstitious with the scientific. “Just as a fractal can be limited to a finite area and yet is infinitely magnifiable,” he writes, “so too is Ireland host to an infinity of wisdom and wonder.”
Irish Independent Feature by Hilary White, 30th Sept, 2022 - here
Manchán Magan: ‘The time for female energy has come... we ignore it at our peril' The author on why he believes our core beliefs have been broken down, finding sólás in our ancient traditions and the runaway success of Thirty-Two Words for Field....
Something is happening to Ireland. Manchán Magan leans back, chewing some salad he has just prepared from the vegetable garden, and expounds.
“All of the central core beliefs that we had have broken down,” he says, “whether that be the church, climate stability, banks and financial stability, the types of jobs we have. Every stable foundation has gone, so when people are lost, as the UN tells them the future with climate change will look entirely different, you sort of think, OK, so who am I, where do I come from, what do I have? And I think that naturally makes you want some rootedness.
RTÉ Radio 1:
Totally Dublin Review:
Sunday Times Review:
Irish Independent column:
Manchán is interviewed by
Manchán is interviewed by