Book Review: Working the Tang, by Nicola Easthope

A new and much appreciated review from Susannah Whaley – big thanks!

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_working_the_tang.jpgKāpiti Coast dweller Nicola Easthope’s second collection, Working the Tang, plays on the word Tang’s multi-layered meanings. In Old Norse it is a spit of land, as well as the point of a knife and the place where the sharp piece is inserted into the handle; in Middle English it is a serpent’s tongue believed to sting; in the Orkney Islands it is the seaweed growing on the rocks above low tide, and ‘wirkin’ the tang’ refers to the eighteenth-century kelp-burning industry. Easthope says it is ‘the salt in the ocean winds’ and ‘the pressures and flavours that sharpen my writing’.

The book cover shows us two women, warmly wrapped in headscarves and long skirts, in what seems to be a hostile and chilly landscape. Stare at the picture and you can almost feel the cold, smell the smoke of the fire they tend and…

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