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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Author Ruth Finnegan is now appearing on The Authors Show. In her recent interview she discussed her latest novel, 'Black Inked Pearl'.
'Black Inked Pearl' is an epic romance about the 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.
Searching for him she visits the kingdom of beasts, a London restaurant, an old people's home, back to the misty Donegal Sea, the heavenly archives, Eden, and hell, where at agonising cost she saves her dying love. They walk together toward heaven, but at the gates he walks past leaving her behind in the dust. The gates close behind him. He in turn searches for her and at last finds her in the dust, but to his fury (and renewed hurt) he is not ecstatically recognised and thanked. And the gates are still shut.
On a secret back way to heaven guided by a little beetle, Kate repeatedly saves her still scornful love, but at the very last, despite Kate's fatal inability with numbers and through an ultimate sacrifice, he saves her from the precipice and they reach heaven. Kate finally realises that although her quest for her love was not in vain, in the end she had to find herself – the unexpected pearl.
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.
‘Black Inked Pearl’ has received three international prizes and 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 .”
Ruth Finnegan is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at r.h.finneganopen.ac.uk. More information is available at her website. The Authors Show interview will be available through October 12, 2016 at The Authors Show site.
About Ruth Finnegan:
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 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 and two loving, impetuous, lovable cairn terriers.