Posted by Tomás Conneely on 26th Mar 2024

The full cover design for Ravelling, in all its glory

The cover for Estelle Birdy's @estellebirdy hugely anticipated debut novel  - Ravelling, coming May 2024 from Lilliput Press. This has been on ' one to watch' lists since it was first announced late last year; 

SET IN DUBLIN’S LIBERTIES, Estelle Birdy’s explosively original debut Ravelling channels the energies and agonies of young men let loose in the city, their city, navigating the tumultuous trajectory of youth and young manhood, where they balance their hopes with the harsh realities of their present.

Hurtling between friendships, feuds, drug-deals, family and brushes with the law, this is modern Dublin as never before portrayed. Ravelling follows Deano, a weed-smoking hurling star, living with his aunt in an about-to-be-demolished flat; Hamza, a Pakistani Muslim atheist and precocious academic, who sells his ADHD drugs to the kids in a private school; Oisín, empathetic and iron-willed, who has begun to see his dead brother at the end of his bed; Congolese nature lover, Benit, who just wants to relax and hurl with the lads; Karl, a maybe-gay fashionista, dreaming of something better while immersing himself in his art.

Bound by friendship, place and the memories of those who’ve died too soon, these young men grapple with race, class, sex, parties, poverty, violence and Garda harassment, all while wondering what it means to be a man in twenty-first century Ireland.

Ravelling’s diverse, captivating cast of characters, rendered in pin-sharp dialogue reminiscent of Roddy Doyle, leaves the reader with an immersive sense of multi-cultural Ireland. Fast-paced, funny and eye-popping, it descends from Trainspotting, White Teeth and Milkman in its portrayal of urban life in the twenty-first century. Ravelling has been optioned by Sleeper Films for a major TV series.

( Some of the glowing reviews in advance below) 

Ravelling masterfully evokes the fragility and beauty of human relationships. It’s funny, bold and bursting with love. There’s no moral here, just an ode to community, a burning sense of youth and a plea for a society pushed to the margins.’ KARL GEARY

‘A glorious novel, tough and hilarious and full of heart. What a writer! Every line sings from the page.’ DONAL RYAN

‘Written in fluent, truthful prose, with humour and empathy abounding.’ SEBASTIAN BARRY

‘A brilliantly profane, hilarious ride through the Liberties … Ravelling lays a sparkling new Dublin over the old. A revelation.’ LAUREN MACKENZIE

This intricate, hand-stitched effect cover design was created by the amazing team at @grahamthew

Ravelling is available to pre-order now at