Crystal King biography

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Crystal King
Photo: Wayne Earl Chinnock

Crystal King

Crystal King Biography

Crystal King is a writer, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and an obsession with the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught writing and social media at GrubStreet and several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University. Crystal received her master's degree in critical and creative thinking from University of Massachusetts Boston. She lives in the US with her husband and two cats, Nero and Merlin.

Crystal King's website

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Interview

Crystal King discusses her debut novel, Feast of Sorrow, and what led her to write a novel about ancient Rome's most famous gourmand.

What inspired you to tell the story of the real-life character Apicius, ancient Rome's most famous gourmand? Can you discuss the novel's origins?

I was writing a different book about some fantastical knives and I needed an origin story. During my research I came across a snippet of information about Apicius and how he died. I wrote a scene showing Apicius purchasing the knives to give to his chef, who would then pass them on to his apprentice and the knives would continue being handed down through the ages. But the more I wrote about Apicius, the more I realized that his story was the more interesting one. I wanted to know what would make a man decide to end his life in such a dramatic way. You'll notice, though, that I kept part of the scene in which Apicius gifts the set of knives to Thrasius. The knives may also show up again in the next novel I'm writing.

Why did you make the decision to tell the story from the point of view of Thrasius, his imagined slave and cook?

I struggled with this decision. I began writing the book from Apicius's point of view but quickly realized that if I did that it would be hard to end the book with the same punch. The number one thing I knew about this person was how he ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Crystal King at BookBrowse
Feast of Sorrow jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Crystal King 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

  • Alix Christie

    Alix Christie

    Alix Christie was born in California, spent her childhood summers in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, and has lived in Paris, San Francisco, and Berlin. She has been a widely published journalist for thirty years, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Feast of Sorrow

    Try:
    Gutenberg's Apprentice
    by Alix Christie

  • Author Image Not Available

    Paul Kingsnorth

    Paul Kingsnorth is a former journalist and deputy editor of The Ecologist magazine who has won several awards for his poetry and essays. He is also the author of two works of nonfiction. In 2009, he cofounded the Dark ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Feast of Sorrow

    Try:
    The Wake
    by Paul Kingsnorth

We recommend 6 similar authors

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Book Club
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Evening in Paradise
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"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives on the fringes."—NPR

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