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A.K. Blakemore Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Manningtree Witches (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glutton (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

A.K. Blakemore full name Amy Katrina Blakemore is best known as an English translator, poet, and author.

She is the author of two poetry collections “Fondue” and “Humbert Summer,” and is the translator of the works of Yu Yoyo the Sichuanese poet.

Her prose writing and poetry have been widely anthologized and widely published in the likes of The White Review, The London Review of Books, The Poetry Review, and Poetry among many other prestigious publications.
Blakemore published her first work as a single author in 2012 when she was published in the “Intro” series by Nasty Little Press.

While it was her very first work, it had the hallmarks of a fully formed style. “The Manningtree Witches” had a simultaneously unsettling, playful, sexy, and dark character.

Her translations of Yu Yoyo’s poems have been published as part of the World Poets Series in “My Tenantless Body.” “Fondue” her second full-length poetry collection was the winner of the Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize.
Blakemore currently makes her home in London, England.

Blakemore began penning poetry when she was just fifteen or sixteen like most people do. While she has now made a name for herself as an author, she still considers herself a poet first and still thinks in the language of poetry.
She thinks of poetry as a natural language and this sometimes seeps into her prose to an extent. For instance, many of the scenes in the novels are almost constructed like poems.

Since she is a poet, she has a good sense of cinema given that she often creates texture, atmosphere, and scenes.

Even though she started writing prose very late, she has often said that she finds it easier. She finds it easier since it is for the most part hitting your head on the wall long enough to get something to happen while with poetry, the spark needs to be there.
Another thing is that she tends to be a perfectionist, particularly when it comes to poetry. Given that she often has only a very small space to say so many things with poetry, every capitalization, every en-dash, and every word has to be perfect.
She has often said that the perfect poem needs to be perfect but with prose, it is easier as it only needs to be about fifty percent good and it can be ready for publishing.

As for her debut novel, A.K. Blakemore was attracted to the stories in the novel by the melodrama of the Manningtree witch trial and witch hunt narratives which appealed to her gothic sensibilities.
However, A.K. was also struck by the sheer richness and descriptive prose of the accounts of the women in the Manningtree trials.

The stories range from the hallucinogenic – a man trying to decapitate a rabbit only to find it splitting into two smaller rabbits, to the almost vaudevillian – a woman who is getting lies swatted off her clothes with a stick.
There was all manner of material that horrified and delighted him in turn, that she knew she just had to write.

Aside from the richness of the terrors, attractions, and tensions of the community at a specific moment in time, there were also many gaps in the story.

With all the names and characters without context, animosities unexplained, and intimacies without explication, she thought it would be interesting to fill those gaps.

Blakemore also felt a need to foreground themes such as ableism, capitalism, and class, as they intersect with misogyny, which she believed were lacking in most witch-hunt fiction.

“The Manningtree Witches” by A.K. Blackmore is a work that has been called “The Favorite” meets “Wolf Hall.”

It is a novel that excellently brings to life the life and times of a seventeenth-century small town which was the epicenter of some of the most famous witch trials.
The novel opens in 1643 in England at a time when the nation is in the grip of a Puritanical fervor.

In a small town named Manningtree which is devoid of men given the many wars the nation has been facing, the hot terror of damnation is never far from women who cannot find any comfort anywhere.
Husbandless and fatherless, Rebecca West chafes against the drudgery of her life which is only occasionally livened by her infatuation with John Edes, a young handsome clerk.
However, Matthew Hopkins a newcomer comes onto the scene. He is a pious and mysterious figure dressed in black from head to toe, who takes residence at the Thorn Inn.
Hopkins begins asking all manner of questions about the women who live on the margins of the small community.

Dangerous rumors of bodily wants, pacts, and covens begin to hang over women such as Rebecca who finds the future as thrilling as it is frightening.

Full of contemporary resonance and energy, it is a work that will plunge you into the menace and fever of the English witch trials where betrayal, mistrust, and suspicion run amok.

A.K. Blackmore’s “The Glutton” is a subversive historical work with a setting during one of the most difficult times – the French Revolution.

The work found inspiration from a young peasant boy who became a showman who reports say was driven to murder and tormented by an all-consuming appetite.

The work is set in France in 1798 where Sister Perpetue the nun is charged with sitting with a patient at the Versailles Hospital that needs to be watched at all times.

He is a tall gaunt man with a distended belly and sallow skin who is dying reportedly from eating a golden fork. But he is also said to have done many terrible things, trying to sate an unexplainable appetite which is still torturing him.
Tarare was born to a widowed young mother in a very impoverished village but had a childhood full of love. He spends most of his days alone out in the countryside but soon his entire life is turned upside down.

He soon finds himself going down a dangerous and violent path as he traverses revolutionary France at the mercy of strangers.

It is a disquieting and exhilarating novel that paints a highly descriptive life of a man who lived in a world of poverty, hunger, desire, survival, chaos, and hope.

Book Series In Order » Authors » A.K. Blakemore

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