Tartarus Press


The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is now out of print and unavailable.

The Bitterwood Bible

and other recountings


Angela Slatter


Introduction by Stephen Jones

Afterword by Lisa L. Hannett

Illustrated by Kathleen Jennings


Winner - Best Collection - World Fantasy Awards, 2015


Welcome back to the magic and pathos of Angela Slatter’s exquisitely imagined tales.


The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings returns to the world of Sourdough and Other Stories (Tartarus, 2010), introducing readers to the tales that came before. Stories where coffin-makers work hard to keep the dead beneath; where a plague maiden steals away the children of an ungrateful village; where poison girls are schooled in the art of assassination; where pirates disappear from the seas; where families and the ties that bind them can both ruin and resurrect and where books carry forth fairy tales, forbidden knowledge and dangerous secrets.


The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is enhanced by eighty-six pen-and-ink illustrations by artist Kathleen Jennings.


Contains: 'Author’s Note', 'Introduction' by Stephen Jones, 'The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter', 'The Maiden in the Ice', 'The Badger Bride', 'The Burnt Moon', 'By My Voice I Shall Be Known', 'The Undone and the Divine', 'The Night Stair', 'Now, All Pirates are Gone', 'St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls', 'The Bitterwood Bible', 'Terrible as an Army with Banners', 'By the Weeping Gate', 'Spells for Coming Forth by Daylight', 'Afterword' by Lisa L. Hannett, 'Acknowledgements'.



'[Angela Slatter] has carved a niche as one of the best writers of short stories of dark fantasy. . . . Each story is infused with different elements of myth, fairytale and folklore to create something fresh and original. The tales are creepy and supernatural, but also contain wry humour. They often come with a sharp point, sometimes by way of a morality tale or small cruelties. Slatter combines darkness, passion and beauty to leave the reader at turns amused, confronted and horrified. . . . Slatter writes with an exquisite touch, and her words are enhanced by delightful sketches by Australian artist Kathleen Jennings.' The Australian

'Starred' review at Publishers Weekly: '13 expertly wrought stories in this short-fiction collection feature characters driven by the all-too-human motives of revenge and frustration with the miserable circumstances of their lives.'

'Slatter’s prose is often magnificent, and she’s able to craft characters as great as the powers they wield. Here you find beauty and terror.' Rick Kleffel, KQED

'Highly recommended.' Mario Guslandi, Thirteen O'Clock

'Slatter’s work is excellent, and eminently readable.  The world that her creations live within is excellently depicted, and the characters easy to relate to.  It’s easy to see how she’s managed to make such an impact on the genre and garnered a British Fantasy Award and numerous other nominations.' British Fantasy Society

'...a short story collection of exceptional beauty, grace and style. It should be part of everybody's speculative fiction collection.' Risingshadow

'..a compendium of bittersweet tales to be devoured with relish.' The Newtown Review of Books

'...now time for me to gush. This is a collection of stories in which each individual work is a perfectly crafted gem, and the whole is considerably greater than the sum of its parts. ...  As intricately plotted as Martin’s magnum opus, and with similar outbursts of bloody violence. ... As of today’s date, I rate The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings the best book I have read so far this year.' Peter Tennant, Black Static

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