Megan Harlan
August 04, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hungry for Home

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Cole Moreton
publisher
Viking
genre
Nonfiction, Travel

We gave it a B+

A final outpost of ancient Irish culture, the Blasket Islands — six tiny, rocky isles off Ireland’s southwest coast — were abandoned in 1953, after an ailing young Blasket man died when stormy weather prevented him from reaching a mainland doctor. In Hungry for Home, London journalist Cole Moreton, whose flair for storytelling vividly evokes the islanders’ rich oral tradition, here traces the exile of this hardy, primitive fishing community — so isolated that they spoke a medieval form of Gaelic — by interviewing Blasket emigrés in Ireland (many living in view of their old home) and America. While their saga becomes an intimate emblem of the vast Irish diaspora, it’s also a moving, atmospheric testament to the mythic lure of home. B+

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