Tangled tales of earth, salty tales of water
Bewitched retellings of thirteen classic fairy-tales with brave and resilient heroines. Tales of blood and intrigue, betrayal and enchantment from a leading Irish YA author.
With 13 stunning black and white illustrations by new Irish illustrator Karen Vaughan.
PRAISE FOR TANGLEWEED AND BRINE
‘Exquisitely written and powerful… I’m enchanted by it’ – Marian Keyes, author
‘Witchy, eerie and beautiful. These thirteen fairytale retellings already feel like feminist classics.’ – Claire Hennessy, author of Like Other Girls
‘Sullivan’s prose is delicate and masterful, but there’s a belligerence to it as well – these stories demand that we go as deeply with our reading as she has in her writing – that we listen to the women at the heart of these stories, that we see the shadows beneath the trees.’ – Dave Rudden, author of Knights of the Borrowed Dark
‘Dark, intimate and poetic, these stunning feminist fairy tales give voice to the witches and the wicked queens and twist the familiar into something salty and seductive, offering a collection of stories you’ll feel like you know in your bones.’ – Moira Fowley-Doyle, author of Spellbook of the Lost and Found
‘Deirdre Sullivan’s terse and stark renditions of fairy tales in Tangleweed and Brine challenge us to rethink what the destinies of young women were in traditional fairy tales, and she spells out what they might really be in other times and settings. Sullivan’s original stories are riveting and offer readers unusual perspectives on how to read fairy tales in times of conflict.’ – Jack Zipes, author of The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Social and Cultural History of a Genre
‘This absolutely beautifully collection of retold fairy tales is as wonderful to read as it is to look at. Featuring lovely, feminist angles on your favourite fairy tales and beautiful full spread illustrations, it deserves a space on your shelf stat.’ – Buzzfeed
‘Witchy, subversive and lyrical, it’s fairly dark but is another top-notch addition to the fabulous Deirdre Sullivan’s back catalogue, and a particularly unique addition to this year’s Irish YA.’ – The Paper Alchemist Blog
‘While remaining true to the bloody and gothic eeriness of the originals, Sullivan places the suffering and triumphs of women front and centre. In the face of domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and traumatic pregnancy, Sullivan’s heroines are often their own saviours, taking comfort in the wisdom and love of maternal ancestors …All of Sullivan’s female characters are complex and vital, and all have the capacity for love, goodness and, most engagingly, violence. Tangleweed & Brine is a stunning book in every way. Dark, deep and thoughtful, it is a collection to be visited again and again.’ – TN2 Magazine
‘A tapestry of retellings and reimaginings, some told in beguiling second person, that foreground women – their desires, powers, fearsomeness and vulnerability … enriched by Vaughan’s sharp, intricate, Beardsleyesque illustrations’ – The Guardian
‘The haunting lyricism of the prose gets under your skin as you are drawn into the unfamiliar familiarity of each tale. Each story is unexpected and disconcerting, from hearing the witch’s perspective in the rewritten Hansel and Gretel to discovering Snow White’s sinister ambition as she tries to usurp her step-mother’s power. Throughout, Sullivan makes the reader question female characters’ agency in their own stories and the tales that emerge are surprising and fresh.’ – The Scotsman
‘ I haven’t often been surprised or entranced since discovering Angela Carter. And now comes Tangleweed and Brine … a lyrical beauty of a book. Leave plenty of time to savour each story, to let it sink in, before tackling the next. Let the women who have so often been portrayed as the small, white defenceless things reveal their secret power and the determination to pull themselves free. Inspirational, poetic and beautiful.’ – Writers Review
Chosen for the Top Ten Fairytale Collection for Children by Books for Keeps
‘These fairy tale retellings are remarkable: they stop you in your tracks. They make you exclaim ‘What! What did I just read?’ I turned the pages backwards as often as I turned them forwards. The inky woodcut style drawings are an added bonus from Karen Vaughan. They exactly match the text, dark and light, astonishing, flowing.’ – Achuka, included in the roundup of Best Books of 2017
‘Exquisite inside and out. Visually Tangleweed and Brine is a book that want to own for the beautiful cover, the feel and layout – never mind the illustrations, which are marvellous.’ – Luna’s Little Library
‘Vaughan’s artwork is captivatingly complex and disturbingly mesmeric, harking back to a previous generation of fairy-tale illustrators while significantly contributing to the synergy between this volume’s words and images… In Sullivan’s enthralling renditions the feminine is inseparable from the political and the sexual… An engrossing and terrifying work’ – Inis Magazine
‘This remarkable book is a significant and timely contribution to Irish young-adult literature and feminist literature for young people. Deirdre Sullivan’s simultaneously rich, delicate and stark text is powerfully enhanced by Karen Vaughan’s haunting black and white illustrations. Combining the timeless allure of dark fantasy with subversive explorations of female embodiment and systems of women’s suffering and triumphs, this incisive, exquisite collection promises an enthralling and unsettling experience.’ – Judges at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards
Want to know a little more about author Deirdre Sullivan? Read this article on Female First – 10 Things I’d Like My Readers to Know About Me
Deirdre Sullivan is from Galway now living in Dublin and working as a teacher. She has established a reputation as a leading Irish YA author following her hugely praised Needlework, which won the Honour Award for Fiction at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Her Primrose Leary series was also widely acclaimed; two of the Prim books were shortlisted for the Children’s Books Ireland awards; and the final one, Primperfect, was also shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature.
Other Books by this author
Karen Vaughan is a designer and illustrator with a particular love for pen and ink. Since receiving her BA in Illustration from the North Wales School of Art and Design at Glyndwr University in 2013, Karen has worked as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator producing covers, illustrations and designs for numerous publishing companies and newspapers. Her intricate illustrations are very much inspired by folk tales, nature and the elaborate patterns and fashions of bygone eras. Tangleweed and Brine is her first book.