Talking Scared

29 – Angela Slatter and Kelpies not Selkies!!

March 10, 2021 Neil McRobert Episode 29
Talking Scared
29 – Angela Slatter and Kelpies not Selkies!!
Show Notes

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a young woman, bad men, and some homicidal mermaids. It’s fairy tale time.

Our guest is Angela Slatter, who’s new novel All the Murmuring Bones turns the fairy stories that comforted you as a child, into a horrid tale of murder, inheritance, death, sex and entrapment. In this world Hansel and Gretel would be a very tasty pie-filling. 

Angela has spent years studying the fairy tale tradition and turning it against her readers. All the Murmuring Bones is her first full length novel taking place in the dark world he has created. This conversation is half about her book, and half about the tradition as a whole. Think of it as a compact university course without the fees, the homework or the risk of STIs. 

We talk about the darker versions of old tales, why all fairytales seem inherently feminist, and why they are coming back into force. I also make a big mistake about mythical creatures that makes me sound more than a little creepy, until rectified. 


All the Murmuring Bones is published by Titan Books on March 9th in Australia and North America, and on March 29th in the UK.

Other books mentioned in this episode include:

  • Sourdough and other Stories (2010), by Angela Slatter
  • The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (2014), by Angela Slatter
  • The Once and Future Witches (2020), by Alex Harrow
  • Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins (1993), by Emma Donoghue
  • The Bloody Chamber  (1979), by Angela Carter
  • The Faery Handbag  (2004), by Kelly Link
  • From the Beast to the Blond: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1994), by Marina Warner

Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to [email protected].

Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.