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The Girls Are Pretty Crocodiles

by Angela Readman

Fairytales with sharp teeth, from the queen of magical realism.

Bold, beautiful and spiky, Angela Readman’s stories are both magical and real. Following her acclaimed debut Don’t Try This at Home, in this new collection, she approaches the fairy tale with a scalpel. The Girls are Pretty Crocodiles reads like a love letter to girlhood and a ransom note to all the fairy tales we have been told. In her prize-winning work 'The Story Never Told', an illiterate woman sells fairy tales for a book she knows will never have her name on the cover. In 'What’s Inside a Girl', a class takes lessons on dating invisible girls.

Dark, funny and surreal, these stories explore, challenge and ultimately transform the traditional fairy tale narrative. Women learn to be origami, climb into swan skins, feed wolves, flip burgers and snog kelpies. In dazzling prose that remains matter-of-fact, these tales take to task the happy endings we have been sold.

Otherworldly, yet down to earth, The Girls are Pretty Crocodiles discovers the hidden voice in the stories we know and reveals the magic within working-class lives. These stories have teeth.


“Angela Readman’s stories have a compelling intimacy and gorgeous imagery, and are often deeply moving – highly recommended reading.” Alison Moore, author of Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse

“Angela Readman’s subtly dark stories rip the covers from the everyday. She turns its innocents and introverts inside-out before us, meanwhile exposing secret rituals and Chinese-whispery legends from all our suffocating and self-contained neighbourhoods. Throughout this new collection, the other Angela – Carter – hangs on Readman’s shoulder as she creates an eerie new folklore for fraught times. These are the stories we always knew existed but were never brave enough to tell, even to ourselves.” Ashley Stokes, author of Gigantic, Unsung Stories, 2021

“A poetic recontextualising of fairy tales and folklore, The Girls Are Pretty Crocodiles manages to be both playful and dangerous, often in the same sentence. Readman deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Kirsty Logan and Marina Warner, as one of the natural successors to Angela Carter.” Dan Coxon, author of Only The Broken Remain and editor of This Dreaming Isle

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela Readman (born 1973) is a British poet and short story writer. Her debut story collection Don't Try This at Home was published by And Other Stories in 2015. It won The Rubery Book Prize and was shortlisted in the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She also writes poetry, and her collection The Book of Tides was published by Nine Arches in 2016. Something Like Breathing, Readman's first novel, was published by And Other Stories in 2019.

Her second collection of short stories, The Girls Are Pretty Crocodiles, was published by Valley Press in April 2022.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Edition: First

Date Published: 2022-04-07

ISBN: 9781912436873

Catalogue Number: VP0204

Number of Pages: 146


Cover and text design: Peter Barnfather
Cover illustration: Emma Howitt
Commissioning & copy editor: Teika Bellamy

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