New book from the highly acclaimed, multi-prizewinning author of Tangleweed and Brine; Deirdre Sullivan’s Savage Her Reply will be published by Little Island Books in September 2020
A retelling of the favourite Irish fairytale The Children of Lir, Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan, with illustrations by Karen Vaughan has been acquired by Matthew Parkinson Bennett at Little Island. World English Language rights were acquired from Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency.
Bringing back together the bestselling and multi-award-winning team behind Tangleweed and Brine; the inimitable Sullivan’s trademark rich, lyrical prose matches Vaughan’s darkly beautiful illustration.
Aífe marries Lir, a king with four children by his previous wife. Jealous of his affection for his children, the witch Aífe turns them into swans for 900 years.
Retold through the voice of Aífe, Savage Her Reply is unsettling and dark, feminist and fierce, yet nuanced in its exploration of the guilt of a complex character.
“Writing Savage Her Reply was an intensely rewarding and emotional experience. The Children of Lir is a story that wove itself through my childhood, and to have the opportunity to rework it and use it to look what stories get told and how we tell them through the eyes of a complex and violent woman was a gift. I loved writing this and I am so grateful for the faith my publisher Little Island put in me in giving me the chance not only to tell Aífe’s story, but to work again with the wildly talented Karen Vaughan, who’s continues to blow me away with the depth and intricacy of her responses to my work.” —Deirdre Sullivan
“Savage Her Reply strengthens our conviction that Deirdre Sullivan is one of the most exciting literary talents working today, for any age group. She has established a fanbase who will be thrilled at the prospect of a new fairytale retelling, after the terrific critical and commercial success of Tangleweed and Brine. With this book Deirdre has taken on perhaps the most widely loved old Irish tale and given it astonishing new life. It is a monumental achievement. As soon as the concept for this book was agreed on we knew we had to bring in Karen Vaughan to illustrate, as she did such a spectacular job with Tangleweed. Little Island published Deirdre’s debut in our own first year, so it is fitting, and lovely, to be bringing out this stunning new book as we celebrate ten years in business in 2020.” —Matthew Parkinson Bennett
Deirdre Sullivan, from Galway in the West of Ireland, has risen rapidly to prominence as one of the UK and Ireland’s most distinctive YA voices. Following Tangleweed and Brine, Sullivan returns with another dark and witchy YA retelling with Little Island, with whom she has published eight titles, enjoying notable success with Primperfect (the first ever YA book shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature in 2015), Needlework (winner, CBI Honour Award for Fiction 2017) and Perfectly Preventable Deaths (Hot Key). Now living in Dublin, Deirdre loves reading, knitting, bodily autonomy and guinea-pigs.
Savage Her Reply will publish on 3 September 2020, in hardback (ISBN: 9781912417643, £13.99 hardback). For further information or to request a review copy, contact: