Gráinne Lyons Wild Atlantic Women: Walking Ireland's West Coast


Code 9781848409286
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A second-generation London Irishwoman walks the Wild Atlantic Way in the footsteps of eleven pioneering women, beginning with her great-grandmother, a lacemaker on Cape Clear Island, and including Ellen Hutchins, Edna O'Brien, Granuaile, Queen Méabh and Easkey Britton.

At a crossroads in her life, Gráinne Lyons set out to travel Ireland’s west coast on foot. She set a simple intention: to walk in the footsteps of eleven pioneering Irish women deeply rooted in this coastal landscape and explore their lives and work along the way. As a Londoner born to Irish parents, she also sought answers in her own identity.

As Gráinne heads north from Cape Clear Island where her great-grandmother was a lacemaker, she considers Ellen Hutchins, Maude Delap, Edna O’Brien, Granuaile and Queen Méabh among others from her unique perspective. Their homes – in places that are famously wild and remote – are transformed into sites of hope, purpose, opportunity and inspiration. Walking through this history, her journey reveals unexpected insight into emigrant identity, travelling alone, femininity and the trappings of an ‘ideal’ life.

Against the backdrop and power of this great ocean, Wild Atlantic Women will inspire the twenty-first-century reader and walker to keep going, regardless of the path.

About the Author

Gráinne Lyons is a writer and documentary-maker from London, where she lives. She holds an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmith’s University and a BA in English Literature from the University of York. Her work has been published in The Irish Times and Aesthetica magazine and she was shortlisted for the Mslexia first novel competition in 2017. As a documentary producer, she has produced numerous arts and history films. Gráinne’s family live in her father’s home place of County Sligo, where she lives when she’s not in London.

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'Although Lyons concentrates on her subjects, many of whom were from remote communities, like the best travel narratives there is an inner and outer journey as she reaches a crossroads in her own life.'
- Paul Clements, The Irish Times

'Wild Atlantic Women is a different, deeper narrative that gradually soaks into your consciousness, like soft rain soaks into way onto your skin in the remote coastal locations that Lyons visits. Lyon's understated, luminous writing does justice to these diverse women who all shared this wild coastline.'
- Sunday Business Post


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