| 16.7°C Belfast

Close

Premium

Derry writer Susannah Dickey hopes darkly witty novel makes us think about what's consensual... and what isn't

Susannah Dickey's first book about a young woman navigating a difficult path to adulthood features a shocking rape scene. She tells Linda Stewart why she wrote it

Close

Susannah Dickey has been an avid reader since she was a child

Susannah Dickey has been an avid reader since she was a child

Susannah Dickey has been an avid reader since she was a child

Susannah Dickey has been an avid reader since she was a child

Susannah studied English with Creative Writing at QUB

Susannah studied English with Creative Writing at QUB

Susannah Dickey has been an avid reader since she was a child

The route to adulthood can be a rocky one, and none more so than that of the unnamed 29-year-old Northern Irish protagonist of Tennis Lessons, the darkly funny debut novel by talented young author Susannah Dickey.

The brutally honest novel charts the life of a spirited young misfit, covering the formative moments in her life from the ages of three to 28. There are her difficult school years, a breakdown at 17, trying to figure out who she is in her 20s - and also navigating the lasting effects of grief and sexual trauma.

Initially, though, when I ask her about her book, published this week by Penguin and attracting favourable reviews, Susannah tells me her fiercely raw tale is about a dead kitten found lying on the road, hand soap and The Doors' track Riders on the Storm.