Siobhan Dowd - Author

About the Author

Siobhan Dowd was born to Irish parents and brought up in London. She spent much of her youth visiting the family cottage in Aglish, County Waterford and later the family home in Wicklow Town.

 

She attended a Catholic grammar school in south London and then gained a degree in Classics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. After a short stint in publishing, she joined the writer's organisation PEN, initially as a researcher for its Writers in Prison Committee.

 

She went on to be Program Director of PEN American Center's Freedom-to-Write Committee in New York City. Her work here included founding and leading the Rushdie Defense Committee USA and travelling to Indonesia and Guatemala to investigate local human rights conditions for writers. During her seven-year spell in New York, Siobhan was named one of the "top 100 Irish-Americans" by Irish-America Magazine and AerLingus, for her global anti-censorship work. On her return to the UK, Siobhan co-founded English PEN's readers and writers programme, which takes authors into schools in socially deprived areas, as well as prisons, young offender's institutions and community projects.

 

During 2004, Siobhan served as Deputy Commissioner for Children's Rights in Oxfordshire, working with local government to ensure that statutory services affecting children's lives conform with UN protocols.

 

A Swift Pure Cry, Siobhan's first novel, was published by David Fickling Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, in March 2006. In May 2007, it won the Eilis Dillon award in Ireland for a first-time children's author. It was also long-listed for the Guardian Children's Book Prize and short-listed for the Booktrust Teenage Fiction Prize and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize.

 

In May 2007, Siobhan was named one of "25 authors of the future" by Waterstones Books as part of the latter's 25th anniversary celebrations. Siobhan died on 21st August 2007 aged 47. She had been receiving treatment for advanced breast cancer for 3 years and, did not go gentle into that good night.

Featured books by Siobhan Dowd

Other books by Siobhan Dowd

A Swift Pure Cry

A Swift Pure Cry

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2018

After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, charming, eloquent and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the centre of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.

The Pavee And The Buffer Girl

The Pavee And The Buffer Girl

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/02/2017

Jim and his family have halted by Dundray and the education people have been round mouthing the law. In school the Traveller kids suffer at the hands of teachers and other pupils alike, called 'tinker-stinkers', 'dirty gyps' and worse. Then the punches start. The only friendly face is Kit, a settled girl who takes Jim under her wing and teaches him to read in the great cathedral chamber of the cave below the town. With Kit and the reading, Jim seems to have found a way to exist in Dundray, but everyday prejudice and a shocking act of violence see his life uprooted once again.

The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2016

11.32am. Ted and his sister Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. The pod rises from the ground, high above the city. 12.02am. The pod lands and the doors open. Everyone exits - everyone but Salim. Has he spontaneously combusted? (Ted's theory.) Has he been kidnapped? (Aunt Gloria's theory.) Is he even still alive? (The family's unspoken fear.) Even the police are baffled - so it's up to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to solve this mystery and find Salim. Teaming up with Kat, Ted follows a trail of clues across London - while time ticks dangerously by... Now featuring a new introduction from bestselling author Robin Stevens.

The Ransom of Dond

The Ransom of Dond

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2016

Darra is an omen of unluck: a thirteenth child. To appease the dark god, Dond, and bring good fortune to her small island community, Darra must be sacrificed at the age of thirteen - by drowning. On the eve of her final birthday, Darra begins to dream of the twin brother she has watched from afar but never met, and dares to hope that she might escape her fate . . . The scouring wind and remorseless waves which beat against Darra's island world are matched in Pam Smy's powerful, wild and emotive illustrations. The Ransom of Dond is our final story from Siobhan, and a book to be treasured.

Solace of the Road

Solace of the Road

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2015

Memories of Mum are the only thing that make Holly Hogan happy. She hates her foster family with their too-nice ways and their false sympathy. And she hates her life, her stupid school and the way everyone is always on at her. Then she finds the wig, and everything changes. Wearing the long, flowing blonde locks she feels transformed. She's not Holly any more, she's Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the super-sharp talk. She's older, more confident - the kind of girl who can walk right out of her humdrum life, hitch to Ireland and find her mum. The kind of girl who can face the world head on. So begins a bittersweet, and sometimes hilarious journey as Solace swaggers and Holly tiptoes across England and through memory, discovering her true self, and unlocking the secrets of her past. Holly's story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.

A Swift Pure Cry

A Swift Pure Cry

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2015

After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, charming, eloquent and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the centre of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.

Oxford Playscripts: Solace of the Road

Oxford Playscripts: Solace of the Road

Author: Siobhan Dowd, Mike Kenny Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

Holly Hogan is on the run. Fed up of life in foster care and longing to be reunited with her mum, she packs a bag and heads for the road, destined for Ireland. With only her mum's amber ring, a blonde wig and distant memories of a troubled childhood, Holly transforms herself into the feisty Solace the kind of girl who can take on anything. But just how far will Holly get before her past catches up with her? Solace of the Road features a detailed scheme of work including a range of inspiring activities and drama techniques, written by title consultants Paul Bunyan and Ruth Moore.

The Ransom of Dond

The Ransom of Dond

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2013

Siobhan Dowd gave us four extraordinary novels before she died in 2007. This is her last story, a final gift to those who know and love her work, and a glittering invitation to those who have yet to discover it. Siobhan draws us irresistibly into Darra's tiny emerald island world, lashed by white-tipped waves, at the mercy of the dark god, Dond. Only the truth and a mother's kiss can set them free. This is a tale to be treasured, a haunting tale of love and fate and truth. Pam Smy's beautiful two-colour drawings announce her as a leading children's illustrator and the astonishing blend of words and pictures takes us all into that timeless world of story. The Ransom of Dond comes to us like a gift from the past.

Solace of the Road

Solace of the Road

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: eBook Release Date: 13/10/2009

Holly's story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.Memories of mum are the only thing that make Holly Hogan happy. She hates her foster family with their too-nice ways and their false sympathy. And she hates her life, her stupid school, and the way everyone is always on at her. Then she finds the wig, and everything changes. Wearing the long, flowing blond locks she feels transformed. She's not Holly anymore, she's Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the supersharp talk. She's older, more confidentthe kind of girl who can walk right out of her humdrum life, hitch to Ireland, and find her mum. The kind of girl who can face the world head-on. So begins a bittersweet and sometimes hilarious journey as Solace swaggers and Holly tiptoes across England and through memory, discovering her true self and unlocking the secrets of her past.From the Hardcover edition.

Bog Child

Bog Child

Author: Siobhan Dowd Format: eBook Release Date: 14/07/2009

DIGGING FOR PEAT in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like shes been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around himhis brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows whata little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.Bog Child is an astonishing novel exploring the sacrifices made in the name of peace, and the unflinching strength of the human spirit.From the Hardcover edition.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.siobhandowdtrust.com/

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