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Authors > Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan is a writer from Galway. Her first book, Prim Improper, was released in 2010, and followed by two more books, Improper Order and Primperfect, which was the first YA novel to be shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature.

Needlework, Deirdre's fourth novel for young adults, was launched by Margaret Martin, the director of Women's Aid in 2015, and went on to be awarded a White Raven and the CBI Honour Award for fiction.

Deirdre's most recent book, Tangleweed and Brine is a collection of dark fairy-tale retellings that focuses on the internal lives of women. It won an Irish Book Award for Best Young Adult Book of The Year 2017 and an Irish Times Ticket Readers Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction 2017. Also, Jack Zipes said some lovely things about it, which made Deirdre the kind of happy that involves mild crying. 

Deirdre's next novel, Perfectly Preventable Deaths, will be published in June 2019.

Deirdre loves reading, knitting, bodily autonomy and guinea-pigs. She is thinking about getting a cat.

Tangleweed and Brine

'Beguiling, bewitching and poetic' - Juno Dawson

A collection of twelve dark, feminist retellings of traditional fairytales from one of Ireland's leading writers for young people. In the tradition of Angela Carter, stories such as Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin are given a witchy makeover, not for the faint-hearted. Intricately illustrated with black and white line drawings, in the style of Aubrey Beardsley, by a new Irish illustrator.

Territory Publisher/Agent
World Darley Anderson Agency
UK & Ireland Little Island
Japan Tokyo Sogensha


Sometimes I fantasise about never having existed, of fading into air a little at a time and one day just being gone. Not missing – just not there.

Ces longs to be a tattoo artist and embroider skin with beautiful images. But for now she’s just trying to reach adulthood without falling apart after a traumatic childhood at the hands of both her mother and father.

Undoubtedly changed by her experiences, she craves the feeling of normality but struggles to fully connect with the people who surround her, leaving her isolated in her dream world of beauty and tattoos.

Needlework is a heart-wrenching story about a girl who wants to survive, but is unsure of how to live.

Territory Publisher/Agent
World Darley Anderson Agency
UK & Ireland Little Island