Podcast /

Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston

Kiran Millwood and Tom de Freston are creative partners as well as being married to each other. Their recently published novella, Julia and the Shark is a profound exploration of mental illness and its impact on children and families.

The text is poetic and the illustrations enigmatic, giving this story a mythic quality that gives it universal significance. It is both a physical and psychological exploration.

In this interview, they tell us more about the book.

Julia and the Shark
The shark was beneath my bed, growing large as the room, large as the lighthouse, rising from unfathomable depths until it ripped the whole island from its roots. The bed was a boat, the shark a tide, and it pulled me so far out to sea I was only a speck, a spot, a mote, a dying star in an unending sky…

Julia has followed her mum and dad to live on a remote island for the summer – her dad, for work; her mother, on a determined mission to find the elusive Greenland shark. But when her mother’s obsession threatens to submerge them all, Julia finds herself on an adventure with dark depths and a lighthouse full of hope…

A beautiful, lyrical, uplifting story about a mother, a daughter, and love – with timely themes of the importance of science and the environment.