The Tain

The Tain

Translator: Ciaran Carson
Introduction by: Ciaran Carson

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140455304
  • 256 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


“[A] brilliant and altogether engaging new translation” (Los Angeles Times) of the greatest epic in Irish literature

Dating from the eighth century, The Táin is the oldest Irish epic, a mythic tale on par with Beowulf and The Aeneid. Following legendary warrior Cù Chulainn into his battle against the invading army of Connacht, The Táin is the story of the emergence of a hero, a paean to the Irish landscape, and a bawdy and contentious marital farce. In its first translation in forty years, Ciaran Carson brings this seminal work of Irish literature fully to life, capturing all of its visceral power in what acclaimed poets Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon individually called one of the best books of the year.


“Carson’s landmark translation, the first in forty years, brings this literary gem to life in a fresh, modern retelling that rivals Thomas Kinsella’s classic translation of 1969.”
- Booklist “In vivid prose Carson has harnessed . . . the tale’s tremendous artistic power.”-Irish Voice

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