Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile, Fleet, 2017


A compelling debut novel that heralds a bright new voice on the literary scene: shortlisted for the 2017 Gordon Burn Prize.

Best known for her classic black comedy Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Andrea Dunbar wrote three plays before dying at a tragically young age. This new literary portrayal features a cast of real and imagined characters set against the backdrop of the infamous Buttershaw estate during the Thatcher era. A bittersweet tale of the north/south divide, it reveals how a shy teenage girl defied the circumstances into which she was born and went on to become one of her generation’s greatest dramatists. Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile is a poignant piece of kitchen sink noir that tells Dunbar’s compelling story in print for the very first time.

Adelle Stripe’s writing has been described as a ‘genuine breath of fresh air’. Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile is her keenly anticipated debut novel.

Observer Books of the Year 2017: “A beautiful period piece of 1980s Britain, as funny and sad as anything by Dunbar herself…”

The Spectator: “It fizzes like two Disprin in a pint of cider. Funny, mischievous, reckless and truthful… You can read it in an afternoon and should; there are too few British novels as effervescent or as relevant as this.”

Guardian: “Snaps and prickles and brings a talented, troubled woman to life… Dunbar’s energy and mischief bubble in the bleakness.’”

New Statesman: “A vivid debut novel. Stripe’s dialogue has a natural quickness and the glimpses inside Dunbar’s head are all the more powerful for being so sparingly deployed.”

The Herald: “A brilliant fictionalised account of Dunbar’s short but turbulent life on the broken-down Bradford estate where she lived and died.”

Morning Star: “The writing is fresh and impressive. A quiet precise genius informs every page.”

Caught by the River: “As in (Carol Morley’s) Dreams of a Life, a life is recreated out of years of meticulous, thoughtful research combined with an extraordinary amount of love.”

Backlisted: “It’s a bloody great book.”

The Yorkshire Post: “Stitched together from letters and scripts, newspaper cutting and fractured memory, it is an undeniably harsh, yet fair portrait of one of the UK’s most original voices.”

Little, Brown Book Group