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.


  • “Masterful.”

    The Irish Times

  • “Grips throughout, offering a vivid portrait of one of Ireland’s less heralded corners.”

    The Guardian

  • “Gripping, Gothic, and moody.”


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

    B&N Reads

  • “Steeped in the rich history of Ireland.”


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

    Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • “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

  • “Gilligan braids beauty and brutality together in a seamless literary thriller. With plot twists worthy of Tana French and language reminiscent of Téa Obreht, this young Irish writer has crafted a story that is dark, wild, mythic, unsuspecting, and absolutely riveting.”

    —Colum McCann, author of Apeirogon

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

    —Jan Carson, author of The Fire Starters

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

    —Luke Kennard, author of The Transition

  • “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