A lost voice revived 

A lost voice revived 
The Horse of Selene by Juanita Casey, with an afterword by Mary M. Burke (Tramp Press, €16.00/£12.99)

We are so flooded these days with works of modern genius, that all too many books once admired, or widely read, or necessary in some way, are driven down into forgetfulness.

These books from the past are the victims of a kind of culture war, the vigorous modern against the reflective past – not a new conflict of course, as Swift and others wrote about in the 18th Century. Irish publishers have little interest these days in recovering these books.

Tramp Press, with an interest in female writing, is a firm that does. Its latest recovery is the single novel by Juanita Casey published by Liam Miller at the Dolmen Press in 1971 – a far cry from the global publishers of our day who only want to publish international mega-sellers.

The book is perhaps over conscious of trying to be literary, but it recovers aspects of Irish communities, the west of Ireland island cultures, and the Travelling community by a writer sensitive to Synge, Yeats and Joyce. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, in its relish for the quasi-pagan. But still an Irish novel with an unusual flavour well worth having back in print. And in any case small and active presses need to be encouraged, as they are often the forcing bed of true literature.