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the discovery

‘The Dirty Dust’ by Máirtin Ó Cadhain

All of the characters in “The Dirty Dust” (Yale University) are six feet under. Lying in a graveyard in Connemara, Ireland, in the early 1940s, they have not a moment of rest. They’re always squabbling, gossiping, complaining, joking, or telling stories. This is the first English translation — by Irish Times columnist Alan Titley — of Máirtin Ó Cadhain’s satiric Irish novel in dialogue. Like Dylan Thomas’s “Under Milk Wood,” “Dirty” is a cacophony of voices that reveal a place and its people. Its world is sad and beautiful, and the talk is endlessly entertaining.