The Manningtree Witches

Available

Product Details

Price
$26.00  $24.18
Publisher
Catapult
Publish Date
Pages
320
Dimensions
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.1 inches | 1.3 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781646220649

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About the Author

A.K. Blakemore is the author of two collections of poetry: Humbert Summer and Fondue. She has also translated the work of Sichuanese poet Yu Yoyo. Her poetry and prose writing have been widely published and anthologized, appearing in the London Review of Books, Poetry, The Poetry Review, and The White Review, among other publications. The Manningtree Witches is is her debut novel. She lives in London, England.

Reviews

The Guardian's Best Fiction of the Year
A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of the Year

This is an intimate portrait of a clever if unworldly heroine who slides from amused observation of the 'moribund carnival atmosphere' in the household of a 'possessed' child to nervous uncertainty about the part in the proceedings played by her adored tutor to utter despair as a wagon carts her off to prison. --Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review

Blakemore brings both beautifully crafted sentences and a thorough understanding of Hopkins' theology to her fascinating novel . . . It's clear that the author is deeply conversant in the historiography of English witchcraft as popularized by historians such as Keith Thomas and Lyndal Roper. Her characters plumb the taxonomy of the persecuted with precision . . . Brilliant. --Los Angeles Times

The Manningtree Witches ventures into dark places, to be sure, but it carries a jewelled dagger. Blakemore is a poet, and readers given to underlining may find their pencils worn down to stubs . . . Such sharp wit and rich textures would be welcome in any setting, but here they form what seems a fitting tribute. The persecutors in this tale are given close scrutiny, but the book belongs to the persecuted. And on these pages, in all their ordinary glory, those women are at last allowed to live. --Paraic O'Donnell, The Guardian

In A.K. Blakemore's dark, entrancing debut novel, there is something seductive about the small town of Manningtree, where women are left mostly alone as the men are off at war, and have their first tastes of freedom in their staunchly Puritanical society . . . Blakemore's story is inspired by real events from 400 years ago (primary sources are sprinkled throughout), but the narrative feels vivid, current, propulsive--and all the more viscerally deranging for it. --Kristin Iversen, Refinery29

Blakemore expertly wields the colorful language of Oliver Cromwell's time: her barbs are as sharp and her observations as salty as William Shakespeare's--but with a feminist twist . . . Blakemore has written a spellbinding novel about the unprecedented persecution of women during the 'Witch Craze' in 17th-century England. But she has done more than that . . . [she] has given voice to women whose stories have only been told by others and thus provides a very different view of history than what is written in the official narrative. --Elaine Elinson, The Los Angeles Review of Books

Blakemore's novel, as Rebecca Tamás puts it, 'makes the past breathe, ' with a captivating ferocity of language, deftly wrought characters, and richly spooky images that tell a story I couldn't put down despite the dreaded ending I knew I was in for. But the past breathes whether Blakemore brings it to life or not. The present moment is a continuation of the past. We are here because we were there. We are still there. --Hannah Lamb-Vines, Full Stop

While this is a historical novel of sorts, it ultimately feels very modern and can be seen as a reflection of the misogyny in the 21st Century. Blakemore is brilliant and Manningtree [Witches] is just the tip of the iceberg. --Adam Vitcavage, Debutiful

If you too like to be excited (and disturbed, and amused) by your sentences, I suggest you pick up this tensile first novel by poet A.K. Blakemore . . . I'm shivering just thinking about it, but never have I been so glad to be so upset! --Emily Temple, Literary Hub

[Blakemore's] poetic imagery exquisitely conjures ambiance, character, and period detail . . . The well-realized principal characters are more than simply victims and villains. --Booklist

In Blakemore's debut novel, her background as a poet is clear. The language is striking, full of distinctive insights regarding gender, truth, and religious devotion . . . Historical fiction has rarely felt so immediate. --Kirkus Reviews

Inventive, sharp-witted . . . The author is a devastatingly good prose stylist . . . Blakemore's ambitious and fresh take on the era will delight readers. --Publishers Weekly

Blakemore writes with a sure sense of story and the heightened language of the poet she is. --Library Journal

A.K. Blakemore's debut is a riveting, unsettling story of menace, corruption, and muck, rendered in limber, evocative prose that delights and surprises at every turn. Its heroine wants too much, and too often, and the wrong thing--which is quite a bit more dangerous than usual, considering this is 17th century England and the Witchfinder General has just come to town. Based on actual events, but told in a deliciously brazen voice, this novel reads like Fleabag meets Hilary Mantel: bawdy, bewitching, weird, and wise. I loved every minute, and even when I was horrified, I didn't want to look away. --Emily Temple, author of The Lightness

I loved this riveting, appalling, addictive debut. In The Manningtree Witches, Blakemore captures the shame of poverty and social neglect unforgettably, and the alluring threat of women left alone together, in a novel which vividly immerses the reader in the world of those who history has tried to render mute. --Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation

Dark, original, unsettling, and crackling with fierce and visceral life, The Manningtree Witches heralds the birth of an utterly vital new voice in fiction. A.K. Blakemore makes the past breathe, and allows it, with dazzling candour, to speak hotly to the complicated reality of our own moment. --Rebecca Tamás, author of WITCH