The Islandman – Tomas O’Crohan, 1929; Robin Flower translation, 1937

Irish Writers Book Group selection, a bonus on top of Skippy Dies because the copies came in late.  A sort-of memoir of life on the Blaskets, islands off the coast of Ireland, by a farmer-turned-writer born in 1856. Mildly interesting but weirdly detached and full of gaps (he marries and has 10 children, but only one sentence about his family, after a child dies). This Irish Times review sums up the tedium by calling him a “Blasket bore.” The funniest/strangest strand is about his nemesis, a poet who keeps interrupting his farming to declaim his verse for hours and insist that O’Crohan write it down. Bonus: people are always sticking their hands “under their oxters” (armpits).