In this stunningly assured, immersive and vividly atmospheric first novel, a young woman comes face-to-face with the volatile, haunted wilderness of the Scottish Highlands.
Polly Vaughan is trying to escape the ravaging guilt of a disturbing incident in London by heading north to the Scottish Highlands. As soon as she arrives, this spirited, funny, alert young woman goes looking for drink, drugs and sex - finding them all quickly, and unsatisfactorily, with the barman in the only pub. She also finds a fresh kind of fear, alone in this eerie, myth-drenched landscape. Increasingly prone to visions or visitations - floating white shapes in the waters of the loch or in the woods - she is terrified and fascinated by a man she came across in the forest on her first evening, apparently tearing apart a bird. Who is this strange loner? And what is his sinister secret?
Kerry Andrew is a fresh new voice in British fiction; one that comes from a deep understanding of the folk songs, mythologies and oral traditions of these islands. Her powerful metaphoric language gives Swansong a charged, hallucinatory quality that is unique, uncanny and deeply disquieting.
Kerry Andrew is a London-based composer, performer, writer and educator. She has a PhD in Composition from the University of York and has won three British Composer Awards. As a composer, she specialises in experimental vocal and choral music, music-theatre and community music. Her alternative-folk album Hawk to the Hunting Gone, a collection of avian folk-songs re-interpreted, came out in 2014 under the banner of You Are Wolf. A second album, based on freshwater folklore, will be released in 2018.