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Su Bristow is a consultant medical herbalist by day. She's the author of two books on herbal medicine: The Herbal Medicine Chest and The Herb Handbook; and two on relationship skills: The Courage to Love and Falling in Love, Staying in Love, co-written withpsychotherapist, Malcolm Stern. Her published fiction includes 'Troll Steps' (in the anthology, Barcelona to Bihar), and 'Changes' which came second in the 2010 CreativeWritingMatters flash fiction competition. Sealskin is set in the Hebrides, and it's a reworking of the Scottish and Nordic legend of the selkies, or seals who can turn into people. It won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013. Her writinghas been described as 'magical realism; Angela Carter meets Eowyn Ivey'.
March 2017 Debut of the Month. This haunting re-telling of the Selkie legend begins on a night when “moonlight silvered everything, casting doubt and shadow”, and a young fisherman, Donald, sees a pod of seals transform into “young women, lithe and graceful”. When they notice him, all but one of the mysterious sisters return to the sea. Now alone, Donald subjects her to a terrible act of violence. “They were maidens, ready for mating,” his mother explains when he brings her home. “You’ve made your bed, and now you must lie in it”. Pregnant with his child, Maihri (as they name her) and Donald are duly married, but convincing the hostile, fearful villagers to accept her otherworldliness is no easy task.While Mairhi shows herself to be brave, bold and able to defend herself, and while Donald is gentle, kind and desperate to atone his wrongdoing, Mairhi’s silent entrapment in a world that is not hers gives this richly eloquent reinterpretation an eerily tragic edge that lingers long after the last page has been turned. Fans of folktale retellings and magic realism will surely welcome this addition to their collections. ~ Joanne Owen A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'A good proportion of my list falls into the crime/thriller genre, but what defines every book I publish, regardless of its ‘category’, is excellent writing. When I was sent Su Bristow’s Sealskin, I was, quite simply, blown away. With exquisite grace, mesmerising descriptions and insights, and some of the most entrancing, beautiful prose I have ever read, Su retells the legend of the selkies, bringing it into the modern day and examining its multifold layers. At the heart of this story is a shocking act of violence, and yet Su manages to create a deep and powerful love story from the horror, to provide redemption for her characters, to express the real meaning of healing, forgiveness, community and family. It is a book that you will cherish, with passages you will underline. You will be breathless as you read it, and reach for the tissues when the final, heartbreaking scenes are played out. You will remember this book. Sealskin really is that good, and Su Bristow is undoubtedly one of the most talented authors of our generation.' ~ Karen Sullivan, Orenda Books Click here to read a Q&A with Su Bristow.