Audible announces launch of Hag, a new British folk tale collection

London. July 2019. Audible, the world’s leading provider of spoken word entertainment, today announces the launch of Hag, a new fiction podcast featuring original short stories written exclusively for audio. Debuting in full on Thursday 29th August 2019, Hag includes new writing from multi-award winning authors and Sunday Times best-sellers.

Exploring otherness, identity, faith, religion, gender and sexual trauma, Hag brings together a gripping collection of tales that are unsettlingly timely and wickedly sinister. Each story is inspired by an unpublished folk tale sourced from across the UK by Professor Carolyne Larrington, a specialist in Old Norse and British fairy tales at St John’s College, Oxford. Drawn from illuminated manuscripts and other folkloric traditions, these stories have been revised and reimagined by authors local to each region. Just as the Brothers Grimm codified Germany’s rural folk lore, Hag catalogues the early myths and legends that have shaped the UK’s storytelling heritage.

With eight original, audio-exclusive stories, the collection includes brand new writing from:

  • Daisy Johnson: A Retelling narrated by Amy Lunn

Author of the Everything Under

(Sunday Times best-seller, Man Booker-nominee)

  • Eimear McBride: The Tale Of Kathleen narrated by Eimear McBride

Author of The Lesser Bohemians and A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing

(Bailey’s Women’s Prize For Fiction-winner, Goldsmiths Prize-winner)

  • Liv Little: The Sisters narrated by Michelle Tiwo

Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gal-Dem

  • Kirsty Logan: Between Sea & Sky narrated by Maggie Service and Cameron Crighton

Author of Things We Say In The Dark

(Lambda Literary Award-winner, Polari Prize-winner, Saboteur Award-winner)

  • Naomi Booth: Sour Hall narrated by [TBC]

Author of Sealed

(Sunday Times Short Story Award-nominee)

  • Emma Glass: The Dampness Is Spreading narrated by Rhian Morgan

Author of Peach

(International Dylan Thomas Prize-nominee)

  • Natasha Carthew: The Droll Of The Mermaid narrated by [TBC]

Author of All Rivers Run Free, Winter Damage and Only The Ocean

(Carnegie Award-nominee)

  • Mahsuda Snaith: The Panther’s Tale narrated by [TBC]

Author of The Things We Thought We Knew

(SI Leeds Literary Prize-winner, Bristol Short Story Prize-winner)

Bringing together a mix of best-selling favourites, award-winning writers and emerging talents, Hag sees these six authors experiment with previously unexplored genres and innovate with stories crafted specifically for the spoken-word. Each tale has been richly sound-designed, combining subtle vocal effects, songs, atmospheric textures and an original score to immerse listeners in the world of the story. Listeners who want to find out more about the original source material and how it shaped each retelling can also explore further with a series of accompanying interviews between Professor Carolyne Larrington and the authors.

Daisy Johnson, author of A Retelling said: “It was an enormous pleasure to be part of this project. Retelling, reinvention and reworkings are close to my heart and this was a welcome challenge. The story I was given to retell has lingered with me, dream-like, inserted itself into other projects. These are authors who are working at the edge of strangeness and beauty and I cannot wait to see what they’ve come up with.”

Liv Little, author of The Sisters, said: “It’s been such exhilarating experience writing my first piece of fiction. There is a freedom in fiction that I’ve been wanting to explore for some time now and the mythological element and re-imagination of a body of work was such an exciting brief!”

Harriet Poland, Commissioning Editor at Audible UK, said: “This is a group of writers firmly placed in the modern world but in possession of a vital understanding of how gender, class and position have impacted the way stories have always been told. Hag brings together startling and evocative writing to reimagine the foundations of our culture, and it’s been a pleasure to witness such vital writing come together with compelling narration and innovative soundscapes.”

Hag joins a host of critically-acclaimed, original short stories released by Audible. Other notable highlights include The Collectors written by Philip Pullman (AudioFile: “Pullman’s brief story is a little marvel, and so is [Bill] Nighy’s reading”) and Bard, Jali and Skald – three short story collections written by Sophie Hannah, Joanne Harris, Chris Beckett, Ben Okri, Sarah Hall and Nikesh Shukla amongst others (Sunday Times: “Beautifully read by well-chosen voices,” Glamour: “The ancient art of storytelling, updated”).

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