The Witches of New York


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About the Author

Ami McKay is the author of the number-one Canadian bestseller The Birth House, winner of three Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards, and a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and The Virgin Cure. Originally from Indiana, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Nova Scotia.


"An excellent read." -- Bustle"In this weighty, wonderful novel, McKay takes a sidelong glance at misogyny through a veil of witches, ghosts, and other mystical entities in 1880 New York.... Skillful worldbuilding, fascinating characters, and a suspenseful plot make McKay's novel an enchanting, can't-put-down delight." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review"Wonderfully wicked and deliciously dark, The Witches of New York had me totally spellbound. Reminiscent of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Ami McKay has written a book brimming with atmosphere, intrigue, and a cast of mesmerising characters. I loved it." -- Hazel Gaynor, author of The Girl Who Came Home"With a remarkable cast of characters... McKay has crafted a stunning work that bridges the gap between historical and contemporary women's issues. The novel is ambitious in its scope yet still delves deep into the thoughts and motivations of characters who normally exist on society's outskirts--or even beyond the earthly realm.... McKay's elegant prose bridges the gap between the real world and the spiritual realm with skill and compassion." -- Kirkus, starred review"[An] enchanting novel, the characterization is particularly adept.... The writing... is woven together with depth and intensity into a vibrant tapestry.... Highly recommended." -- Booklist, starred review'In the tradition of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Ami McKay recreates not just a historically confident vision of 1880's New York, but a richly imagined, detailed subculture of witchcraft, occultism, and sinister dark forces that coexist precariously, in plain sight; stealthily encroaching upon the affairs of the Gilded Age. Skillfully written, peopled with refreshingly authentic female characters and hurtling forward at a furious pace, McKay delivers that most precious of all experiences to discerning readers -- a refuge of intelligence, insight, and genuine invention. Easily one of my favorite books of the year.' -- Kathleen Tessaro, author of Rare Objects and The Perfume Collector"Nasty women, your party has arrived. Ami McKay's witches are in town.... The real aim of McKay's new novel is to show a group of believable women leading "an unconventional life".... McKay is a fine plotter....The layering of narratives and styles is lively, and the multiple characters' pasts are especially absorbing.... Society types straight out of Edith Wharton pursue spiritualism for fun... but McKay widens her scope with grimier episodes.... She has a nose for the Dickensian." -- Alix Hawley, Globe and Mail"A labour of love, and a testament to the craft.... The novel unfolds with a hurtling intensity. But McKay doesn't let the compulsive momentum interfere with her deeper explorations of her characters....McKay is able to tease out hidden depths and contradictions with ease, revealing the characters in their confounding (and occasionally off-putting) complexity.... One cannot help but want to spend more time in the company of these witches." -- Robert J. Wiersema, National Post"The book is richly researched, and packed with enticing historical detail. McKay's prose is, as always, superb -- the descriptions enchanting, the narrative arcs compelling, the characters dear (or deliciously sinister, as the case may be). But it is the emotion of the novel that lingers longest, the pervading horror over the persecution of women -- and what this persecution has done to repress women's talents, impede their progress and stamp out their voices." -- Tara Henley, Toronto Star"Step into an exciting and spellbinding world, brought to us by the soaring imagination of Ami McKay.... McKay's seductive novel unfurls slowly amidst a miasma of menace, mischief, mystery and mesmerising magic.... A clever, compelling story of determined, independent women fighting for a place in a man's world of chauvinism, oppression and prejudice." -- Lancashire Post, England"Boasting a set of core characters that are perfectly realised... The Witches of New York is a compelling, fast paced read.... [McKay's research] shows particularly strongly in the strength of the link she makes between accusations of witchcraft, and their associated punishments, and a deeply ingrained, often religiously driven, sexism. McKay does not shy away from that, instead embracing the dark history of witch hunts and witch trials, and making it abundantly clear that this it was not just about stamping out magic, but stamping out a form of power that was, and still is, dominated by women." -- Jodie B. Sloan, AU Review (Australia)"So well researched is this novel, so deep does it take readers into the dark and desperate life of Lower Manhattan that it is easy to believe it was written 150 years ago as a treatise decrying the fate that awaited so many impoverished young girls. . . . The novel is an immersive coming-of-age story, unnerving and powerful." -- Associated Press on The Virgin Cure"Lyrical prose and deft storytelling." -- Chicago Sun-Times on The Birth House"Strongly delineated characters and a vivid historical backdrop." -- Kirkus on The Virgin Cure

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