Adelle Stripe: Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile

The latest addition to my website is Adelle Stripe‘s Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile. This is Stripe’s first novel though she has been writing poetry for many years. It it a fictionalised biography of Andrea Dunbar, a young playwright who grew up on a poor estate in Bradford, Yorkshire, and died aged twenty-nine, from a brain haemorrhage. Stripe gives us Dunbar’s story – her miscarriage at age sixteen, her three children by three different fathers, her drinking – all of which she used in writing her plays. But Stripe, as she says in the foreword, embellishes the story, giving us a feminist novel and a novel showing the misery on sink estates in modern Britain, with the women bearing most of the burden. It is an excellent novel about the sad tale of a playwright who died too young but also the sad state of modern Britain.

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