Over Nine Waves A Book of Irish Legends

Marie Heaney

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

272 Pages


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Journalist Marie Heaney skillfully revives the glory of ancient Irish storytelling in this comprehensive volume from the great pre-Christian sequences to the more recent tales of the three patron saints: Patrick, Brigid, and Colmcille.


Praise for Over Nine Waves

"Marie Heaney's splendid retelling of these great Irish wonder tales is especially timely. It is in the nature of this material that it must be retold, if not actually reinterpreted, for each new generation of readers . . . Marie Heaney chooses a plain modern style, close to the spoken voice, yet supple enough to meet the high moments of narrative . . . Those who have missed out on these legends at school have now a brilliant chance to retrieve those losses."—Augustine Martin, Sunday Independent

"These legends are the action-packed stories—of ancient heroes, huge battles, attempted invasions, prophecies and spells, clashes between the underworld and the real world, abductions, love affairs and feasts—which have fascinated the Irish mind for more than 2,000 years . . . Most of them have an extraordinary, start narrative sweep, with a marvelous sense of detail . . . Heaney writes directly and fluently . . . with great tact and skill."—Colm Toibin, Sunday Times

"I enjoyed this book immensively . . . Marie Heaney has pleasant and readable literary manner and her style is a seamless garment."—Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Irish Times

"Essential background for every reader of Irish literature."—Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Marie Heaney

  • Marie Heaney was born in County Tyrone. She trained as a teacher in Belfast and began her career in schools in Northern Ireland. Married with three children, she now lives in Dublin where she works as a freelance writer, contributing to newspapers and to programmes on both RTE and BBC.