The Taste of Spoiled Earth



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The Irish Famine of 1845-1852 is an event defined by silence. Despite its tremendous demographic impact on both Ireland and the worldwide Irish diaspora, the Famine received relatively little literary or historical treatment prior to the late 1990s. Even now, a crucial element missing from both history and scholarship is the voice of the victims, which nineteenth-century chroniclers struggled to convey. One way in which chroniclers sought to convey the destruction and suffering of the Famine was through supernatural and often apocalyptic imagery of “living skeletons” and “walking dead.” Drawing on this legacy, “The Taste of Spoiled Earth” presents a speculative history novella in which the Famine dead rise, imbued with a hunger for living flesh. The figure of the undead allows for a blurring of boundaries that defies traditional rationalist narratives of history, while remaining true to, and commenting on, the social and political realities of hunger in a colonial state.



Irish Famine, Ireland, Nineteenth-century, Zombies