User Heart Menu Basket Cross Plus < Minus <

Books by Julia Blackburn

  • The Woman Who Always Loved Picasso

    Julia Blackburn

    Product Code: CCWLI
    Paperback
    It is unusual for Carcanet to produce an illustrated book, and in this case to host so distinguished an illustrator and designer as Jeff Fisher. His drawings animate the vivid voice of Marie-Therese, created with great immediacy by Julia Blackburn. Marie-Therese was seventeen when she met Picasso. He was fortysix. The poems, simple in language - daubed as it were - make sense of Picasso's love for this young woman who was, John Berger says, 'the sexually most important affair of his life.' They assume the young woman's voice, taking up the story at their first meeting. We recognise some of his great paintings in their occasions and formation. Three years after his death she took her own life. Julia Blackburn has written two novels (both shortlisted for the Orange Prize); a memoir, The Three of Us (winner of the J.R. Ackerley Award), and nine works of non-fiction of which the most recent, Time Song, was published by Cape in 2019.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £2.00
    More info
  • Time Song

    Julia Blackburn

    Product Code: BUIID
    Hardback
    Julia Blackburn has always collected things that hold stories about the past, especially the very distant past: mammoth bones, little shells that happen to be two million years old, a flint shaped as a weapon long ago. Time Song brings many such stories together as it tells of the creation, the existence and the loss of a country now called Doggerland, a huge and fertile area that once connected the entire east coast of England with mainland Europe, until it was finally submerged by rising sea levels around 5000 BC. Blackburn mixes fragments from her own life with a series of eighteen `songs' and all sorts of stories about the places and the people she meets in her quest to get closer to an understanding of Doggerland. She sees the footprints of early humans fossilised in the soft mud of an estuary alongside the scattered pockmarks made by rain falling eight thousand years ago. She visits a cave where the remnants of a Neanderthal meal have turned to stone. In Denmark she sits beside Tollund Man who seems to be about to wake from a dream, even though he has lain in a peat bog since the start of the Iron Age. Time Song reveals yet again, that Julia Blackburn is one of the most original writers in Britain, with each of its pages bringing a surprise, an epiphany, a phrase of such beauty and simple profundity you can only gasp.
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £5.00
    More info
  • The Three of Us

    Julia Blackburn

    Product Code: BHPKN
    Paperback
    Winner of the J. R. Ackerley Award. This is the story of three people: Julia Blackburn, her father Thomas and her mother Rosalie. Thomas was a poet and an alcoholic, who for many years was addicted to barbiturates; Rosalie, a painter, was sociable and flirtatious. After her parents were divorced, Julia's mother took in lodgers, always men, on the understanding that each should become her lover. When one of the lodgers started an affair with Julia, Rosalie was devastated; when he later committed suicide the relationship between mother and daughter was shattered irrevocably. Or so it seemed until the spring of 1999, when Rosalie, diagnosed with leukaemia, came to live with Julia for the last month of her life.
    • £9.99
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £1.00
    More info
  • Threads

    Julia Blackburn

    Product Code: BGDVP
    Paperback
    Winner of the East Anglian Book of the Year 2015. John Craske, a Norfok fisherman, was born in 1881 and in 1917, when he had just turned thirty-six, he fell seriously ill. For the rest of his life he kept moving in and out of what was described as 'a stuporous state'. In 1923 he started making paintings of the sea and boats and the coastline seen from the sea, and later, when he was too ill to stand and paint, he turned to embroidery, which he could do lying in bed. His embroideries were also the sea, including his masterpiece, a huge embroidery of The Evacuation of Dunkirk. Very few facts about Craske are known, and only a few scattered photographs have survived, together with accounts by the writer Sylvia Townsend Warner and her lover Valentine Ackland, who discovered Craske in 1937. So - as with all her books - Julia Blackburn's account of his life is far from a conventional biography. Instead it is a quest which takes her in many strange directions - to fishermen's cottages in Sheringham, a grand hotel fallen on hard times in Great Yarmouth and to the isolated Watch House far out in the Blakeney estuary; to Cromer and the bizarre story of Einstein's stay there, guarded by dashing young women in jodhpurs with shotguns. Threads is a book about life and death and the strange country between the two where John Craske seemed to live. It is also about life after death, as Julia's beloved husband Herman, a vivid presence in the early pages of the book, dies before it is finished. In a gentle meditation on art and fame; on the nature of time and the fact of mortality; and illustrated with Craske's paintings and embroideries, Threads shows, yet again, that Julia Blackburn can conjure a magic that is spellbinding and utterly her own.
    • £14.29
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £2.70
    More info
  • Thin Paths

    Julia Blackburn

    Product Code: AEPWB
    Paperback
    This title is shortlisted for the 2011 Costa Biography Award and the 2012 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. Julia Blackburn and her husband moved to a little house in the mountains of northern Italy in 1999. She arrived as a stranger but a series of events brought her close to the old people of the village and they began to tell her their stories. Of how their village had been trapped in an archaic feudal system and owned by a local padrone who demanded his share of all they had - even a pretty wife or daughter, of the eruption of the Second World War, of the conflict between the fascists and the partisans, of death and fear and hunger of how they hid like foxes in the mountains. 'Write it down for us,' they said, 'because otherwise it will all be lost.' "Thin Paths" is a celebration of the songlines of one place that could be many places and a celebration of the humour and determination of the human spirit.
    • £8.49
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £1.50
    More info