Book review: Fierce Appetites by Elizabeth Boyle (Ireland)

Sounds very powerful and lives up to its title!

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More

Fierce Appetites: Lessons from my year of untamed thinking is a collection of personal essays by Irish medieval historian Elizabeth Boyle. Sub-(sub-)titled Loving, Losing and Living to Excess in My Present and in the Writings of the Past, the book was published in 2022 by Penguin, and (appropriately enough) I’ve read it during Cathy‘s Reading Ireland month ’23

Part memoir and part deep-dive into medieval Irish poetry, it meditates on the interconnectedness of time and place, and describes a year in Boyle’s life, the pandemic year of 2020, which opens with her father’s death in January.

“My brother poured seventeen sachets of sugar into his black coffee. I muttered to him, ‘If dad dies while you’re adding all these fucking sugars I will never speak to you again.’

We walked back to the ward. Dad had died…”

There are 12 chapters, broken down by month, containing personal meditations…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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