The Bad Sister

The Bad Sister (1978) is a tale of witches in contemporary life. Drawing from and reinterpreting James Hogg’s classic Gothic tale Confessions of a Justified Sinner, which focused on an evil alter ego, the novel is itself rather schizophrenic, alternating between a documentary account of the murder of Michael Dalzell and his daughter, tracked down by an editor, and a hallucinatory account maintained by Jane, the other, illegitimate daughter, who seems to have perpetrated the crime. Sometimes confusing but always intriguing fiction from Emma Tennant (

Brought to the screen as a TV movie in 1983 by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (

395 pages in Canongate paperback edition

ISBN 978-1841950532

Emma Tennant's picture

Emma Tennant

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