I was reading American Gods by Neil Gaimon, the folio Society one, with the amazing pictures. Then this arrived. Tatterdemalion.

And I loved the way it had no title on the cover , and the wonderful production of it, making it such an object of desire.

I first heard of the book by accident when visiting Terri Windling in Chagford. Rima and Sylvia were joining us for lunch, they were filming something, a promo film for the book.

Given that this book is such an unusual creature, feral, and unlike anything else I have read, maybe with a whisper of Garner, a slight lilt of Angela Carter, Ursula LeGuin, somewhere, but really like none of them at all, but very much of itself, perhaps the best thing to do is to watch this:

It slowed down my reading with its curious strangeness. I love that it was born in a similar way to The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow. Both books worked backwards from image to text.

Rima I have known for a long time having met her work through The Hermitage in the early days of blogging. Her blog, so image heavy, would take an age to load on my dial up connection. Years ago I bought a clock from her.

Gingercat, bear and hare. What could be better. It tells the time it choses to, and twice a day that coincides with the time that it is, and it hangs in my studio.

And Rima and her husband Tom have the wonderful Hedgespoken, which is so worth knowing about. For those in Pembrokeshire, they will be at Unearthed Festival.

But, back to the book. It’s a curious dream creature, a long, lyrical poem of a book. So looking forward to reading more from Sylvia. And I think Tatterdemalion will live on in my dreaming for some time to come.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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3 Responses to Tatterdemalion

  1. Bernie Bell says:

    Whooo-hooo – a tatterdemalion book for tatterdemalion people – HURRAH!

  2. Christina says:

    My copy arrived a few days ago! I am drinking it in slowly, savouring it as a treat between working on the final tweakings of ‘Wolf Bride’ which I am performing in a little over a month (every time I think of that, I make myself even more terrified!). It is a beautiful, beautiful thing, the kind of book I dreamt of as a child when all I could buy was cheap little paperback Puffins. It is an heirloom in the making, something to be handed down and treasured by many hands, many generations.

  3. Els says:

    Ahhhhh immediately recognized the drawings of Rima !
    LOVE them.
    Will be watching for the book 😉

    And ohhhhhhhhh … you have a CLOCK !!! such a beauty !

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