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

Her most recent novel,The Butchers, (published as The Butchers' Blessing in the US) is a literary thriller set in the Irish borderlands; it won the 2021 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, awarded to the book that best evokes the 'spirit of a place'.

Ruth holds degrees from Cambridge, Yale, UEA and Exeter. She contributes regular literary reviews to the Guardian, Irish Independent and Times Literary Supplement. She works at the University of Birmingham as their first ever Professor of Creative Writing, and is an ambassador for the global storytelling charity Narrative 4.

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Credit: Paul Musso / Hay Festival 2019
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