Susan Lanigan

Susan Lanigan 012Susan Lanigan is an Irish writer and has been writing since she was young. Since graduating from a Masters in Writing in NUI Galway in 2003 with first class honours, she has a considerable record in publishing short stories, having been shortlisted three times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award (2005, 2009, and 2012).

Recent publications include Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Sept/Oct edition 2012) and Nature Futures (2010 and 2011). Susan has also been shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Award (2011) and the Bristol Prize (2010), as well as being longlisted for the Raymond Carver short story award in 2011 and for the Paris Literary Prize in 2013.  White Feathers is her first novel.

Publisher: Brandon Books (2014). Rights held: Russian. All other rights:



WhiteFeathersEva Downey, a misfit in her family, jumps at the chance to attend a finishing school, especially as she is about to be pushed into marriage. At the school, she finds kinship and – eventually – love.  But when war breaks out in 1914, her family forces her to make a choice. She must present the man she loves with a white feather of cowardice, or no money will be given for her sister’s life-saving treatment in Switzerland.

The decision she makes will have irrevocable consequences for her and those around her. Eventually guilt drives her into war work near the Front.

Thirty years and two World Wars later, world-famous Jamaican soprano Lucia Percival comes out of retirement to sing the part of the Muse of War, from a musical setting of First World War epic “The Dove” about conscientious objectors. But is Lucia’s interest in the part entirely professional – or does she need to make sense of her long-buried memories of the war, her ties with Eva and her own story of pain and loss?

From Jamaica to London to the fields of France in wartime, through marriage, birth and death, this story of love and war follows the two women in their quest to make peace with the past.


“Don’t be tricked into thinking this is a ‘Cinderella’ story, the first part, so gently and simply told by the author, almost lulls you into a false sense of security before World War I sticks it’s fearsome and harrowing boot in. The age old tale of falling in love occurs on the brink of war, when much of the country, (before reality hit) fluttered and flirted with feelings of heroism, romance and enchantment. This is a story that promises, expands and heightens expectations before the truth of battle has it’s wickedly brutal way. Proving that assault and conflict can be cunningly insidious as well as glaringly obvious, this is an intense and stirring debut novel.”