Ruth Gilligan is a writer and academic from Dublin now based in the UK. She has published four books to date and was the youngest person ever to top the Irish Bestsellers’ List.

Her most recent novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan (2016), was inspired by  the Irish-Jewish community and was published to international critical acclaim. Her fifth novel, The Butchers, is set in 1996 during the BSE crisis and will be published in March 2020.

Credit: Paul Musso / Hay Festival 2019

Ruth holds degrees from Cambridge, Yale, UEA and Exeter. She writes regular literary reviews for the Irish Independent, Guardian, TLS and LA Review of Books. She works as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham, and is an ambassador for the global storytelling charity Narrative 4.

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