Sinéad Gleeson to publish debut novel next year

Author reunites with 4th Estate’s Kishani Widyaratna, who published her nonfiction debut Constellations

4th Estate has triumphed in a multi-publisher auction for the debut novel by the prize-winning writer and editor Sinéad Gleeson, author of An Post Irish Book Non-fiction book of the Year and Folio Prize-shortlisted memoir, Constellations.

Kishani Widyaratna, 4th Estate Publishing Director, acquired British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in physical, ebook and audio to Hagstone by Sinéad Gleeson from Peter Straus at RCW.

On a wild and rugged island cut off and isolated to some, artist Nell feels the island is her home. It is the source of inspiration for her art, which is rooted in landscape, folklore and the feminine. The mysterious Inions, a commune of women who have travelled there from all over the world, consider it a place of refuge and safety too, of solace in nature.

All the islanders live alongside the strange murmurings that seem to emanate from within the depths of the island, a sound that is almost supernatural – a Summoning as the Inions call it. One day, a letter arrives at Nell’s door from the reclusive Inions who invite Nell into the commune to produce a magnificent art piece to celebrate their long history. In the course of its creation, Nell will discover things about the community and about herself that will challenge everything she thought she knew.


Sinéad Gleeson’s highly anticipated debut novel takes in the darker side of human nature, the mysteries of faith and the power of natural world. A novel from one of our most beloved literary voices, Hagstone is perfect for fans of Mike McCormack, Margaret Atwood and Sarah Moss. The novel will publish in spring 2024.

Kishani Widyaratna, 4th Estate Editorial Director: ‘Beautifully written, provocative and eerily haunting, Hagstone is a searing debut that masterfully summons both the mysterious power of the imagined island on which it is set and the restless characters who live in isolation there. Sinéad Gleeson is one of our most loved writers and literary advocates, and everyone at 4th Estate is over the moon to welcome her to the list. Hagstone will thrill fans old and new and we can’t wait to share it with readers.’

Sinéad Gleeson: ‘I’m unbelievably thrilled that 4th Estate are publishing my first novel, not just because they publish some of my favourite writers, but I’m reunited with Kishani, whose patience, skill and expertise were so invaluable when we worked together on Constellations. I’m really excited for readers to meet Nell and the inhabitants of the island.’

Sinéad Gleeson is a writer, editor and broadcaster. Her memoir Constellations: Reflections from Life (Picador) won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at 2019 Irish Book Awards and the Dalkey Literary Award for Emerging Writer. It was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Michel Déon Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and has been translated into several languages. She has edited a number of anthologies of fiction and non-fiction, most recently co-editing an anthology of womens’ writing on music with Kim Gordon, This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music (White Rabbit), that featured writers including Anne Enright, Rachel Kushner, Maggie Nelson, Margo Jefferson and Ottessa Moshfegh. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, Gorse, and on BBC Radio 3.

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle is Books Editor of The Irish Times