Ruth Gilligan

Ruth Gilligan is a graduate of Cambridge and Yale, and now works as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. She contributes regular literary reviews to The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of BooksIrish Independent, and the Times Literary Supplement.

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  • “Gripping, gothic, and moody.”


  • “Masterful.”

    The Irish Times

  • “Gilligan writes with clarity and compassion, resulting in an outstanding contemporary twist on the great Irish novel. Enchanting, ethereal, and enlightening.”


    The Irish Independent

  • “Poignant. . . . a vivid portrait of one of Ireland’s less heralded corners.”

    The Guardian

  • “An achingly beautiful novel of family, tradition, Ireland and the deep secrets buried in all three.”

    B&N Reads

  • “Remarkable. . . . With beautifully crafted prose, suspenseful plotting, and imaginative scope.”

    Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • “Steeped in the rich history of Ireland.”


  • “A gripping tale of menace and foreboding.”


  • “A contemplative coming-of-age thriller. . . . An atmospheric portrait of a country at a crossroads, moving away from the traditional ways and toward a slick new millennial future. Thoroughly lovely.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An achingly real portrayal of rural life in Ireland and an ode to the Republic’s fraught history with its own folklore.”


  • “Excellent . . . completely gripping.”

    —Evie Wyld, author of The Bass Rock

  • “Remarkable. . . . realistic and hauntingly otherworldly.”

    —Jan Carson, author of The Fire Starters

  • “A sweeping, ambitious and socially and emotionally perceptive feat of narration, both timeless and contemporary, steeped in the dense atmospheres of inherited mythologies and difficult adolescence.”

    —Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti

  • “A fascinating novel. . . . brings the late nineties vividly back to life, slipping very successfully between eras and voices.”

    —Sara Baume, author of A Line Made by Walking

  • “Flawlessly, intricately plotted, with such a compelling central mystery that I binged it like a Netflix show. . . . Stunning.”

    —Luke Kennard, author of The Transition

  • “A funny, sad, beautiful book that asks how you make a new life when your world changes. So much is packed into these pages about family, about greed, about love, and about desperation.”

    —Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You

  • “I was hooked from the first page. It was an exhilarating reading experience: I felt at once like an outsider and completely at home as I read and was at all times completely immersed and wowed at Ruth’s storytelling prowess.”

    —Donal Ryan, author of From a Low and Quiet Sea

  • “I found The Butchers’ Blessing haunting and compelling. The relationships between daughter, mother and landscape move in strange harmony with a story about Irish modernity and masculinity.”

    —Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater