Mary Sharratt biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Mary Sharratt.

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Mary Sharratt

Mary Sharratt

Mary Sharratt Biography

Mary Sharratt is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England for the past seven years. Her inspiration for Daughters of the Witching Hill arose directly out of the wild, brooding landscape: the story of the Pendle Witches unfolded almost literally in her backyard.

Winner of the 2005 WILLA Literary Award and a Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Mary is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva and The Vanishing Point. Her first two novels were Book Sense picks, and The Vanishing Point was a UK Guardian Readers’ Book of the Year. She is also the co-editor of the subversive UK fiction anthology, Bitch Lit, a celebration of female anti-heroes which was featured in The Guardian and on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. Mary’s short stories have been widely published in journals and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including the recent Twin Cities Noir.

A former Historical Novels Society Reviews editor, Mary writes regular feature articles and author profiles for Solander and The Historical Novels Review.

When Mary isn’t writing fiction, she is usually off riding Boushka, her beautiful and spirited Welsh mare who is making a cameo appearance in Daughters of the Witching Hill as Alice Nutter’s horse.

Mary returns regularly to her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota where she teaches workshops at The Loft Literary Center"

"The thing that gets me most excited is coaching my students on the power of story, the art of drawing the reader into the thick of the narrative. My job is helping my students discover the stories they need to tell and helping them develop their narrative voice. Then I stand back and listen to their stories unfold, spinning themselves on their own power."

Her new novel, Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen, will publish in the USA in October 2012.

Link to Mary's website

This biography was last updated on 08/07/2012.

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Interview

How I Became a Daughter of the Witching Hill
by Mary Sharratt

In bleak midwinter 2002, I moved to rural Lancashire, in northern England, an incongruous place for an American expat. The first months were so oppressively dark, I felt I was trapped inside some claustrophobic gothic novel. But then came spring in a tide of bluebells and hawthorn. The wild Pennine landscape cast its spell on me.

Pendle HillI live at the foot of Pendle Hill, famous throughout the world as the place where George Fox received his vision that moved him to found the Quaker religion in 1652. But Pendle is also steeped in its legends of the Lancashire Witches.

In 1612, seven women and two men from Pendle Forest were hanged for witchcraft. The most notorious of the accused, Bess Southerns, aka Old Demdike, cheated the hangman by dying in prison. This is how Thomas Potts describes her in The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster:

She was a very old woman, about the age of Foure-score yeares, and had been a Witch for fiftie yeares. Shee dwelt in the Forrest of Pendle, a vast place, fitte for her profession: What shee committed in her time, no man knowes ... Shee was a generall agent for the Devill in all these partes:...

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Books by this Author

Books by Mary Sharratt at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

Illuminations
Illuminations

by Mary Sharratt

Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt's redemptive novel, Illuminations, brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Mary Sharratt but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Melanie Benjamin

    Melanie Benjamin

    Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life - as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library - she still firmly believes ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Illuminations

    Try:
    The Aviator's Wife
    by Melanie Benjamin

  • Geraldine Brooks

    Geraldine Brooks

    Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Daughters of the Witching Hill

    Try:
    Year of Wonders
    by Geraldine Brooks

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