Adelle Stripe


Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile

Wrecking Ball Press

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile is inspired by the life of the Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar, who was brought up on the infamous Buttershaw estate and died at a tragically young age. Adelle Stripe recreates the north of England during the Thatcher years, exploring the bittersweet physical and emotional landscapes that led to a teenage girl from a council estate becoming one of her nation’s greatest dramatists. This debut novel weaves together both real and imagined characters and creates a clear-eyed portrait of a time of intense social change.

Adelle Stripe was born in 1976 and grew up in Tadcaster. She is the recipient of the K Blundell Trust Award for Fiction. Adelle is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry, the most recent, Dark Corners of the Land, was 3:AM Magazine’s Poetry Book of the Year. Her writing has featured in publications including The Guardian, Stool Pigeon, Caught by the River and Chiron Review. Her poem, The Humber Star, was performed at John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux at Hull 2017 and was described by the FT as a work of ‘fantastic depth and poignancy.’ She has recently recorded vocals and lyrics for Smagghe & Cross, their track, Cock of the North, was released by Offen Music in spring. She lives in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, UK.

‘This outstanding debut novel is told so naturally that it feels that we are there alongside her. A great achievement.’

Jenni Fagan, author of The Panoptican

‘An impressively accomplished and important first novel. In a beautifully rendered double narrative Adelle Stripe gives voice to a lost genius. Heartfelt, passionate and profoundly relevant.’

Jake Arnott, author of The Long Firm.