Ruth Hilary Finnegan

About Ruth
I am Irish as well as British, born and brought up in Derry and Donegal which
will forever affect my outlook and language, not least my love of music (I still
like to sing in a choir – reflected in Safia’s reluctant engagement in the Little
Angel Books and in the rhythms and cadences of Black Inked pearl, specially
brought out in it forthcoming audio version ) and not leasdt in the music of
words. For this and much else I owe a great debt to my parents, Tom and Agnes
Finnegan, to my brothers and sister who are still there, and to our wonderful
three daughters and their children, who I hope will one day read and enjoy
many of these books.
I am the author of numerous influential anthropological and comparative
monographs (I love writing) and of the acclaimed prize-winning literary
novels ”Black Inked Pearl’, ‘Pearl of the Seas’ and (on the way) ‘The Helix
Pearl’. I have a particular commitment to reviving appreciation of the too
often forgotten classic nineteenth-century English novels.

More about Ruth
‘Interviews with leading thinkers’ , video interview with Alan Macfarlane
‘Pioneers of qualitative research’, audio interview with Paul Thompson
University profile
Facebook author page
Amazon author page
Garn Press New York
Other social media
An international conference celebrating her famous The Hidden Musicians

‘The Hidden Musicians revisited’ conference a huge success


Selected interviews
Book video trailers

How did Ruth write her prize-winning Black inked pearl? Prepare to be amazed

Honours and Awards
1996 Elected Fellow, British Academy
1997 Elected Hon. Fellow, Somerville College Oxford
2000 OBE for services to Social Sciences
2002. Honorary Member, Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK
and the Commonwealth
2002 Emeritus Professor, Open University.
National Indie Excellence, Finalist (visionary fiction) 2016
New York Book Fair, Honorable Mention ( romance) 2016
Readers Favorite, for both fiction and nonfiction books 2016
Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book, Runner up 2016
Hungry Monster, Silver award, 2016
National Indie Excellence, Finalist (religious fiction) 2017
Literary titan, Silver Award 2017
Ca;;ital. Fund Screenplay Contest, Genre Winner, 2017

Ruth says
Under my academic name of Ruth Finnegan I am currently – and proudly –
Emeritus Professor in Social Sciences (Sociology) at The Open University,
United Kingdom. I have conducted anthropological fieldwork in Africa, Fiji and
England, publishing mainly on the anthropology of art, communication, and
performance, also on comparative literacy, ‘orality’ and multimodality. My
recent publications (several of them prize-winning include ‘Communicating’
(2002), ‘The Oral and Beyond’ (2007), ‘Why Do We Quote?’ (2011) and a second
(illustrated and updated ) edition of Oral Literature in Africa’ (free to read on
the Open Book Publishers website, and so far read by many thousands of
readers, principally, as is fitting, in Africa)) I have been writing and publishing
as an academic (quite successful in my own field as shown by my election to a
British Academy Fellowship) since the 1960s and enjoy it an agonised kind of
way, each work producing its own kind of anguish, apart from ‘The Little Angel‘
which came to me by a different route.
In 1969, after some years teaching in Africa, my husband David and I, now
living in Old Bletchley in south central England, came to the Open University
[]in 1969 as part of the first wave of academic staff. Throughout
our careers or teaching, writing and research we have hugely appreciated the
Open University revolutionary – and successful – mission to reach part-time
distance-learning students who would otherwise not have been thought
capable of attaining university degrees. I am greatly honoured that I will thus
stay associated with the Open University for the rest of my life following my
election as an Emeritus Professor.
We now live in Old Bletchley, just round the corner from the code-breaking
and long secret (we had no idea!) Bletchley Park
[] the home of computers, now a celebrated
and very visitable museum.

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