Ruth Gilligan, Irish novelist and journalist to read from her new novel April 13, 2017 at UAlbany

New book "Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan" tells the unknown story of the Jewish community in Ireland

Related Media

Ruth Gilligan, Irish novelist and journalist

ALBANY, NY (03/28/2017) (readMedia)-- Irish novelist Ruth Gilligan will read from and discuss her novel Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 in the Huxley Theatre, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center in downtown Albany. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. Gilligan will hold an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany Uptown Campus. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and cosponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library.

Ruth Gilligan is an Irish novelist and journalist. With her literary fiction debut, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan (2017, Tin House, U.S.), she tells the story of Jewish immigrants in Ireland. The narrative gradually weaves together three main characters whose stories are set in 1901, 1958, and 2013 to reveal the unknown history of Ireland's Jewish community. The three stories revolve around Lithuanian Jewish immigrants who accidentally arrive in Ireland, mistaking "Cork" for "New York;" a teenager who is sent to an asylum in 1950s Ireland because he hasn't spoken since his bar mitzvah; and a contemporary Irish woman who has emigrated to London and must decide whether or not to convert to Judaism to marry her Jewish boyfriend.

In a starred review Publishers Weekly called Nine Folds "a stellar U.S. debut...Gilligan weaves a mesmerizing blend of plot and character while exploring themes of assimilation and displacement, suggesting what binds us all is storytelling." Irish novelist Colum McCann praised the book saying "Gilligan captures the pulse of one of Ireland's untold stories, and asks us to consider the age-old dictum that the past is not dead, it is not even past. A wonderful new novel from a writer to look out for."

Gilligan is the author of three young adult novels, Forget (2006), Somewhere in Between (2007), and Can You See Me? (2009). At the age of 19 she was the youngest person ever to reach number one on the Irish bestsellers' list. In its review of Forget, the Irish Daily Mail praised Gilligan as "Ireland's newest publishing sensation."

A graduate of Cambridge and Yale, she is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham. She has published short stories in The Istanbul Review and The Irish Page, and has written literary reviews for The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, The LA Review of Books and The Irish Independent where she was a columnist for several years.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at