Ruth Finnegan OBE is a renowned scholar and celebrated writer who is Emeritus Professor, the Open University, a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College Oxford

WILMINGTON, NC, January 05, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Author Ruth Finnegan has been chosen as one of 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading in the 2017 Book Awards. Finnegan was chosen from a field of hundreds of authors through a public voting process. The award is the latest in a string of international awards for her published works.

“I am so thrilled with this,” Finnegan stated. “I have had many book awards but this is by far my most precious win because it’s not for an individual book but a voted-for endorsement of myself as an all-round author and, yes, dreamer of dreams – an author of full-length fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short stories and picture books, as well as a screenplay and libretto writer.”

Finnegan’s previous awards include:

Folklore Society, short list Katharine Briggs Award 1992
British Academy, longlist Book Award 2003
British Association for Applied Limguistics, short list 2003
Herskovits Award, Honorable Mention 2008
National Indie Excellence, Finalist ( visionary fiction) 2016, Finalist (religious fiction) 2017
New York Book Fair, Honorable Mention (romance) 2016
Readers Favorite, 4 Awards (fiction and nonfiction) 2016
Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book, Runner up 2016
Readers Favorite, Honorable Mention
Hungry Monster, Silver award, 2016
Literary Titan, Silver award, 2017
Book Excellence, Winner (friendship) 2017
Kirkus Reviews, one of top 25 of 2017

In addition to a large number of academic works, Finnegan has written three novels.

‘Pearl of the Seas’ is the tale of two children building a boat from a log they find buried in the sand and sailing off to far-off fantastic lands in a stormy sea-driven adventure with their faithful – but accident-prone – dog Holly. There they learn much wisdom from a king who, like God, has many names’. After an incredible sacrifice of his dearest dream by the boy (now growing up) they return – another dream – to a family tea with their loved ones. The tale is a prequel and companion to Ruth Finnegan’s award-winning epic romance ‘Black inked pearl’, here adapted for preteens but characterised by (in a simpler form) the same unique dream-like and enchanted style as in the original novel.

‘Pearl of the Seas’ received a Hungry Monster Silver Award in October 2016. The book has received a number of positive reviews. Tshombye K. Ware of Reader’s Favorite stated, “If you’re looking for a reader friendly story that touches the depths of your soul, this is definitely one of those books.”

The companion work, ‘Black Inked Pearl’, tells the story of a naive Irish girl Kate and her mysterious lover, whom she rejects in panic and then spends her life seeking. After the opening rejection, Kate recalls her Irish upbringing, her convent education, and her coolly-controlled professional success, before her tsunami-like realisation beside an African river of the emotions she had concealed from herself and that she passionately and consumingly loved the man she had rejected.

The novel, born in dreams, is interlaced with the ambiguity between this world and another, and increasingly becomes more poetic, riddling and dreamlike as the story unfolds. The epilogue alludes to the key themes of the novel – the eternity of love and the ambiguity between dream and reality.

Since its publication in 2015 ‘Black Inked Pearl’ has won five international prizes and its screenplay version is top genre winner in the 2017 Capital Fund Screenplay Contest. It was recently named as a finalist in the 2016 Best Book Awards in the “Fiction Visionary” category.

‘Black Inked Pearl’ has received rave reviews from readers and reviewers alike. Scott Neuffer of Forward Reviews stated, “If James Joyce’s dream-like opuses were written from a more feminist perspective, they might look something like Ruth Finnegan’s Black Inked Pearl, a rapturous fantasia of words and images set somewhere between ancient myth and the green shores of modern Ireland.” Chris Fischer, in a Readers Favorite review stated “I just finished reading ‘Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest’ by author Ruth Finnegan, and all I can say is ‘Wow!’ It’s written in a unique and creative style, one that at times blends poetry with prose … enviable and beautiful at the same time … any reader who enjoys a lovely, unique and interesting work of fiction should absolutely read Black Inked Pearl. I will be eagerly awaiting the next offering by author Ruth Finnegan. If it is anything like her debut novel, it will be simply magical!” Kirkus Reviews said, “Kate’s romantic quest calls to mind Paradise Lost and Greek mythology as it weaves together biblical allusions, fantasy, and details of the modern day.” Like other classic and unusual literary works, the book has given rise to many interpretations and, as Christiana Fatoki perceptively put it, like its more recent prequel ‘Pearl of the Seas,’ it “sinks into your unconscious.”

‘The Helix Pearl’ is currently in production and will be released in 2018.

Ruth Finnegan is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at More information is available at her website at

Ruth Finnegan OBE is a renowned scholar and celebrated writer who is Emeritus Professor, the Open University, a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College Oxford. She was recently elected as one of the first four International Fellows of the American Folklore Society, a much valued honor. She was born in Derry (on the last day of December 1933) and grew up there and in the remote countryside of Donegal where, as poetically recalled in the second chapter of her novel, ‘Black Inked Pearl’, she spent the war years; went to a literature-imbued Quaker school in York where, a fellow-student with the actress Judi Dench, she learned to read the resonant poetry of Yeats and Shakespeare and to repeat texts that, with others, she had to learn, aloud (a good training for the sonic style of her novels); earned top degrees in classics and anthropology at Oxford; and carried out fieldwork on story-telling in Africa – a revelation of the multi-sensory nature of performance that has affected her all her life, and constantly comes through in her writing. From 1969, apart from three years in the South Pacific island of Fiji, she taught and researched at the pioneering Open University. She is the author of over twenty academic books, several of them prize-winning. She has three daughters (two of them born in Nigeria), five grandchildren (one in New Zealand), and now lives in Old Bletchley, England, with her husband of over 50 years.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here