Art work copyright Andrew Price
Linnet is a navvy, digging canals. He's also a great story-teller - and he's dying from camp-fever. He fears for his children, who'll be left alone, and he wants to send them home to his mother. But how are they to find their way, and who will protect them?
Linnet's dying request is that his head is cut off and tied in his shirt, so his children can carry it with them on their journey.
As the children make their way across country, the head often opens its eyes and tells stories - stories to encourage, stories to guide, stories to protect...
This book is now available as an e-book here.
Susan Price says: This collection grew out of my fascination with stories from the Celtic and Nordic tradition about severed heads, which continue to talk and advise the living, such as Mimir's head in Norse Legend, and Bran in Welsh myth.
I also liked the suggestion, found in such stories, that tales are spells: that they are told for specific purposes on specific occasions - at a wedding, say, or a funeral.
These ideas also influenced other collections, such as 'The King's Head' and 'Telling Tales'.