Louise Dean


Louise Dean is the author of four novels and has been published globally by Penguin and Simon & Schuster amongst others. 

Louise Dean has won the Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize and Le Prince Maurice Prize, and been nominated for The Guardian First Book Prize, and longlisted for Dublin International Literary Award and The Booker Prize.


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“I read Becoming Strangers with pleasure and admiration.”

JM Coetzee.

Novel Laureate for Literature.

"With clear-eyed compassion, and with all the resources of the novelist's art, Louise Dean leads us through those terrible days when for a while Belfast was a vortex for the worst of the world's cruelty and pain."

JM Coetzee
On ‘This Human Season’ by Louise Dean

"Dean is brave enough to offer the reader a glimpse of a real hope, held hopelessly between funeral and tragedy. She is also an eloquent architect of strengths and shapes of passion, and remarkable in her harshly lyrical delineations of the lives of women and girls... Ranging across this huge landscape is a novel which captures a community's resilience and its humour full of broken glass. Louise Dean describes the exact glint of this spirit."

Ali Smith
On ‘This Human Season’ by Louise Dean

"It is quite hard to put into words the special qualities of this novel although you feel these at once when you begin to read it. Maturity, poise, a certain distinctive humour. I enjoyed ‘Becoming Strangers’ greatly. It is a very accomplished piece of writing."

Helen Dunmore
On ‘Becoming Strangers’ by Louise Dean

"I still don't know whether I'd call this supremely complex piece of writing comic, tragic or just plain feelgood. All I know is, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In the end, I was so uplifted, I did both."

Julie Myerson, The Guardian
On ‘Becoming Strangers’ by Louise Dean

"Like its predecessors, it channels the rough music of everyday life for non-Bloomsbury folk with a tragicomic subtlety, a pin-sharp ear for dialogue and a flair for every nuance of character and class. Beneath the mordant delights of observation lies a sharp awareness of the grander themes – love, selfhood, family, freedom and above all death – that haunt minds and shape lives."

Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
On 'The Old Romantic'

"Dean writes with beautifully controlled clarity about family ties, social class, the generation gap and the vanished England of the past. She’s extremely funny, but also humane and moving."

The Times
On 'The Old Romantic'

"Audacious... remarkable. That an English woman born after the Troubles began should take one of its most grisly episodes—the ‘dirty protests’ in the Maze prison—as the focus of a compelling family drama is ambitious to say the least. That she should pull it off with such compassion and perceptive detail is nothing short of astonishing."

The Daily Telegraph
On 'This Human Season'

"Engaging... it is hard to stop turning the pages... arresting... fizzes with talent."

The Sunday Times
On 'The Idea of Love'

"Dean has a deliciously lucid and seemingly effortless style."

Daily Mail

"'There is so much to treasure in this terrific book, but its deepest joy is the sharp, perceptive writing’ Financial Times."

Financial Times
On 'The Old Romantic

"Her passion for the written word translates into every dimension of her work as a tutor. As a teacher I found her frank, exacting, generous, and full of wisdom and humour. She doesn’t sugar-coat the writing process, the emphasis is on nurturing the creative spirit while working never less than very hard."

Emylia Hall
Author of novels published by Headline

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Get the best help you can afford. Louise Dean is the author of novels ranging from literary fiction to historical fiction and her books have been kindly reviewed worldwide and featured on Oprah’s Book Club. Louise is known for her warm encouragement of her writers as a teacher. She was formerly a tutor at the Arvon Foundation, and was winner of the 2016 IDPE Best Newcomer for Independent Development Professionals in Education.

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Louise Dean Interview with the BBC.

Becoming Strangers

“Remarkably moving...a fine display of economic writing, never wasting a word and yet revealing a wealth of emotion, history, and desire...both page-turning and heart-breaking. This is the sort of book that makes you want to immediately go back to page one and start again... One of the best books of the year.” The Independent.


This Human Season

“This is a fine and thoughtful historical novel which manages to find humour and decency in the most awful of places.” The Sunday Times

“Dean is an audacious arrival in British fiction.” The Guardian

“Louise Dean’s pitch-perfect second novel, ‘This Human Season’, recreates the time of the troubles... with remarkable evenhandedness.” New York Times


The Idea of Love

“Wonderfully complex and original novel about desire, disappointment and mental illness...” The Independent.

“An acute, cynical wit... An unforgettable study of the dark side of the mind.” The Times.

“This dark novel is interesting and original, a study of love but not romance and a story with many morals.” The Telegraph.


The Old Romantic

“Dark, scurrilous and richly comic. There is so much to treasure in this terrific book, but its deepest joy is the sharp, perceptive writing.” Financial Times.

“Dean is able to demonstrate her unobtrusive skill as the creator of comic set-pieces... painfully funny. A clever plot and plenty of surprises.” The Sunday Times.

“A warm-hearted comedy of bad manners.” Daily Mail.


“With Louise, you have a fabulous tutor, mentor and friend all in one.”

(Janice Cumberlidge.)

Louise founded The Novelry in March 2017 to challenge the idea that aspiring novelists need to wait for the perfect time to write a novel and that writing must be practised in solitude. Over 100 writers completed their novels within the first year and the writing community is a safe haven for working novelists.   

Louise has taught for the Arvon Foundation on novel writing and short stories and spoken on writing at Hay on Wye, Brisbane, Galle and Edinburgh Festivals. She won the IDPE award for Best Newcomer 2016 for Development Professionals in Education. She has appeared on BBC News, Radio 4, Woman’s Hour with Jenni Murray and Mariella Frostrup amongst others.

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