Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cover Identity | Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

I'm disappointed in you, internet!

It's been a couple of days since the great and terrible Margo Lanagan, having been cruelly preempted by Amazon's army of image-monkeys, posted on her blog Among Amid While about the cover art for her long-awaited second novel, Sea Hearts.

Here it is:

And no-one's said squat about it! That is, no-one whose blogs I follow...

Which gives one to wonder: by some baffling happenstance do none of you know about this incredible talent? Because I've been psyched about Sea Hearts - working title Watered Silk - for years. Pretty much ever since reading the delightfully, deliciously dark Tender Morsels, which as I recall came to me by way of a recommendation from Amanda Palmer's missus. (No, not a personal recommendation.)
Anyway, what gives, internet? This is big news in my book. And there's a blurb too, which I may have missed:
"On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings – and to catch their wives.  
"The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And, for a price, any man might buy himself a sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment.
"Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire, despair and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also unspoken love."
*squee* I say.

Courtesy of David Fickling Books, Sea Hearts will be with us early next year - in February is Amazon's to be believed, which let's be honest... it often isn't - and that, in any event, is more than enough time for you all to get caught up on Tender Morsels and/or Margo's triumvirate of tremendous short story collections: Black Juice, White Time and Yellowcake. Really, the sooner you familiarise yourself with this wonderful and criminally little-known author, the better.
Here endeth today's lesson.


  1. I adore Margo's work. And she's another testimony to how very very edgy the Aussies allow their YA to get - they have a seriously intelligent attitude to young adult publishing down there.

  2. Some of us just don't blog about cover art! I agree on all of this though - I've loved Margo Lanagan's work so far, that cover and blurb are lovely, and in short *SQUEE*

  3. I think that blurb just sold me on it. More SQUEE!

  4. I'm really rather pleased that there's been some squeeing - and the more the merrier! :)

    But I'm a little surprised, Celine, that you'd describe Margo Lanagan as YA. Is it? If it is, as you say - and I tend to think you would know better than I - then indeed, Australia must have a very enlightened attitude towards the market.

    Saying that, if I had a sprog of my own, I don't know that I'd be reading Tender Morsels to it till it was at least 25. Good god, that book disturbed me, and I'm positively ancient!

    (Though how mature I may or may not be is of course a matter of some debate...)

  5. It was indeed marketed as YA, she and I share a very enlightened publisher in Allen and Unwin. In fact, I think Margo's work continued to be marketed as YA in the UK (unlike mine - unfortunately)I might be wrong, but didn't that very fact inspire quite the furore of pearl clutching for a while?

    YA isn't kids, don't forget, its young adult 16 up :)

  6. This is pretty disappointing; a bland cover deliberately going for cross-over appeal. Nowhere near Vintage's cover for Tender Morsels.

  7. I am currently doing a presentation about one of Margo Lanagan's short stories : A Dark Red Love Knot. I think that it is a unique story and interesting. Well done Margo !