Performance Publishing

The Blackbird by Claire Allen

March 31st, 2020 | Posted by David in


Nominated for Gmund Award 2021, for excellence in book design & print

Beautifully and movingly crafted from the fragile connections between its characters’ lives. The Blackbird is a novel for our vulnerable times.
Dr Sophie Oliver, University of Liverpool
Claire Allen really nails what it’s like to Care for someone… Her descriptions throughout the book are just so perfect.
Clare Reynolds, Years Of Reading Selfishly
Jealousy and blame pervade… Layered and nuanced yet never heavy, a good read that I am happy to recommend.
Jackie Law, Never Imitate
Any new book from HFP is cause for a celebration. As an object it’s a book of quite outstanding beauty, like all HFP publications… Claire Allen’s prose is both plain and simple (in the very best senses), and very frequently piercing. This is a beautiful novel, generous and humane in range and depth.
David Collard, Salvete!
There’s loss, heart-break, turmoil, grief wrapped in its pages, but it’s also a story of how the past remains within us, construction of the physical and the spiritual, and how relationships form and break. I loved this historical character led novel and would highly recommend it.
Leigh, Books.Tea.And.Me
Claire Allen’s writing is cinematic. I could picture every character, scene and action clearly… The Blackbird is a work of art, filled with top quality print and gorgeous illustrations but also has a strong story to complement the high aesthetics.
Robert Pisani, The Bobsphere
It serves as a potent reminder that violence, in all its forms, is not restricted to working class males.
Sarah Crewe, author of Floss


It is 1941. Hope’s father, Jenner, builds Liverpool Cathedral while the Luftwaffe’s bombs fall. It is 2014, and Hope cares for her husband Robert as Alzheimer’s destroys his personality.

Hope’s husband Robert is a retired civic sculptor. As Alzheimer’s unravels his mind, a secret he has kept for her threatens to emerge, breaking the fragile peace she has made with her parents’ memory: the truth of what happened to her mother during the Liverpool Blitz.
Hope brings in Louise to be home-carer. A young mother, the last resident of the Blackbird Estate, harassed by her ex-partner. But now they are together, can they find a way the past can’t hurt them?
Allen tells the overlooked story of the Liverpool Blitz, but resists its glorification with the sights, sounds and smells that surround the desperate citizens.
Thanks to G.F Smith sponsoring our Historiographic Fictions series, this book will be covered with Gmund Urban cement grey, a paper embossed with concrete texture and sparking with silica. Foil debossed with Kurz black, copper and blue.

Additional information

Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 19 × 130 × 2.4 cm

Artists Book, Paperback

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