'These nine pieces hang together, in my mind, as an accompaniment to my poems'. So wrote Ted Hughes in the foreword to this collection, taken from forty years of occasional story-telling. Of the nine items, six are from Wodwo, Hughes's 1967 collection of poems and other writings, while 'The Head' has appeared only in a magazine, and 'The Deadfall' in an anthology of ghost stories. 'O'Kelly's Angel', written when the author had just left university, is published for the first time.
Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber & Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children. He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for two consecutive years for his last published collections of poetry, Tales from Ovid and Birthday Letters. He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.