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Siobhan Dowd Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Swift Pure Cry (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The London Eye Mystery (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bog Child (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Solace of the Road (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ransom of Dond (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Glimmer Train Stories, issue 33 (with James Carlos Blake, Susan McInnis, George Manner, Manuel Muñoz, Stewart O'Nan, Susan Perabo, Margo Rabb, Roland Sodowsky, Karen Swenson and Robin Winick) (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Siobhan Dowd was a British activist and writer and was born on 4th February of the year 1960 in London, England and her writing genre were mainly young adults. Her parents were Irish and she spent most of her childhood in Aglish, County Waterford at the family cottage and later in Wicklow Town. In south London she attended a Catholic grammar school and then at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University she gained a degree in Classics. Later, from Greenwich University, she cleared MA with distinction in Gender and Ethnic Studies. International PEN is a writer’s organization and Dowd joined it in the year 1984. In the organization, her work was in the Rushdie Defense Committee (USA) about finding and leading it and travelling to Guatemala and Indonesia to investigate about the writers’ condition of human tights. She stayed for seven years in New York and during this time she was named by Irish-America Magazine as among the ‘top 100 Irish-American’ and for her work in global anti-censorship as Aer Lingus. After her return to the UK, Siobhan Dowd founded the English PEN’s program for readers and writers, with Rachel Billington as a co-founder. Dowd was a Deputy Commissioner in Oxfordshire for Children’s Rights, during 2004. There she was making sure along with the local government that statutory services that are affecting the lives of children conform to UN protocols.

In the Threatened Literature Series, three anthologies have been edited by the author Siobhan Dowd for the PEN American Center’s Freedom to Write Committee. The first one was ‘This Prison Where I Live’ and the second one was ‘The Roads of the Roma’, which she jointly edited along with Rajko Djuric and Ian Hancock. The third one was ‘Inked Over, Ripped Out: Burmese Storytellers and the Censors’ and seven Burmese writers’ stories have been featured in this anthology. For this anthology, author Dowd has not been listed as an official editor. Tony Bradman gave her an invitation to contribute a story. The story was about children racism and the title was ‘Skin Deep’ that was published in the year 2004 and became a huge success. This made Dowd to start writing novels for children. The success of the book inspired Dowd and she began a new career in writing for children and during this time she developed close friendships with Fiona Dunbar and Lee Weatherly, who are established authors for children. There has to be meetings between them regularly and they would chat and discuss about their ongoing work of children’s literature. The first novel written by author Dowd was in the year 2006 titled ‘A Swift Pure Cry’. The novel is based on a character named Shell, who is a teenage boy living in County Cork, Ireland. The novel was a huge success and won 2007 the Eilís Dillon Award and Branford Boase Award.

The novel was also shortlisted for the CBI Bisto Book of the Year Award, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award, the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, Booktrust Teenage Prize, and for the Carnegie Medal. The second novel written by author Siobhan Dowd was ‘The London Eye Mystery’ and was published in the year 2007 by David Fickling. This novel was also a success and she received €10,000 Bisto Book of the Year prize in May 2008. The novel also won a couple of other awards and was shortlisted for many other awards. In her lifetime, Dowd was married twice. She moved to New York in the early 1990s after her first marriage ended. In 1997, she returned to London after spending seven years in New York in order to spend some quality time with her family. She met Geoff Morgan in the year 2000 and they got married in Wales in 2001. George was working at Oxford Brookes University as a librarian then. Author Siobhan Dowd was diagnosed with advanced cancer in September of 2004. Even after this she continued to write and during this time she developed a friendship with Meg Rosoff, a children’s author and a breast cancer patient. On 21st August 2007, Dowd died of breast cancer at the age of 47. Before her death, she undertook at least one novel about children. She discussed it with Denise Johnstone-Burt, editor at Walker Books. Ness and Kay were arranged by Walker to write the book and it was published in the year 2011 titled ‘A Monster Calls’. The book won both Kate Greenaway Medal (Kay) and the Carnegie Medal (Ness).

The first book written by author Dowd is titled ‘A Swift Pure Cry’ and was published by David Fickling Books on 10th April of the year 2007. The story in the book is about a character named Shell living in Ireland. After the death of Shell’s mother, her father who was religious takes the support of alcohol to mourn for the death of his wife and Shell gets the responsibility of taking care of her younger sister and brother. The only relief she gets is from a young priest who is her friend, and mostly from Declan who is her childhood friend. Declan is persuasive, eloquent and charming, but one day he suddenly leaves for America to seek his fortune and Shell is left alone. Soon she finds herself pregnant and fears the scandal that will happen in the community she lives. She knows that her life will never be same again. The story is full of love, loss and belief, and surely will touch the heart of anyone who reads it. The book won the Branford Boase Award in the year 2007.

‘The London Eye Mystery’ was the second book written by Dowd and was published again by David Fickling Books on 7th June of 2007. The story in this novel starts on a certain Monday dated May, 24 and the time is 11:32 a.m. There are two characters named Ted and Kat, who have a cousin Salim and they watch him go on board the London Eye. Salim turns to them and waves and soon after that the pod rises in the sky from the ground. After 10 minutes at 12:02 a.m., the pod comes and lands on the ground and the doors open. People come out of it in varying sizes and shapes and Salim doesn’t. Where is Salim? After the police have no luck in finding Salim, Ted becomes sleuthing partner with his older sister Kat. In spite of having a prickly relationship, Ted and Kat work together to find their cousin Salim across London. Ultimately, Ted finds the key to the mystery with the help of his unique brain. Unicorn Theathre adapted the novel in the spring of 2009 for the stage and it received many good reviews.

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