Holding Her Breath: A deep dive into the psyche of a troubled young woman

Eimear Ryan’s debut novel is a compelling tale that oscillates between the contrasting worlds of high-performance sport and literature

Eimear Ryan: a richly accomplished debut.


Holding Her Breath

By Eimear Ryan

Sandycove, €14.99

Portraits of poets, present or absent, are common in Irish writing. They include living poets such as Claire Kilroy’s ogre of a writer-in-residence, wallowing in alcohol and self-pity in her Trinity College novel All Names Have Been Changed. There are also dead examples, as in David Park’s superb The Poet’s Wife, which describes a widow who kept her husband in comfort by unobtrusively working nine-to-five while ...