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Manilla Press sinks teeth into Kat Dunn’s ‘fierce, feminist’ adult vampire debut Hungerstone

Set against the violent wilderness of the Peaks and the uncontrolled appetite of the industrial revolution, Hungerstone by Kat Dunn is a compulsive feminist reworking of Carmilla, the book that inspired Dracula: a captivating story of appetite and desire.

Hungerstone was acquired following a major lightning speed pre-empt. Sophie Orme, Manilla Press publishing director acquired UK & Commonwealth rights excl. Canada from Hellie Ogden at WME.

As Orme explains: “I’ve been looking to publish a brilliant feminist vampire novel for some time, so when Hungerstone arrived in my inbox I couldn’t have been more excited. Kat’s luminous writing and dark, captivating voice held me absolutely spellbound from the very first page. I cannot wait for readers to discover this ferocious, atmospheric and utterly unputdownable story of ambition, female oppression, and unstoppable hunger.”

Lenore is the wife of steel magnate Henry, but ten years into their marriage the relationship has soured, and no child has arrived to fill the distance growing between them. Henry’s ambitions take them from London to Sheffield, and with his success hinged on a hunt, an old tradition looms over the home; the hunt is a time to settle old scores. If a bullet finds a human home, then it is only that they were foolish to become prey.

In the weeks leading up to the hunt, a carriage accident near their remote home brings the mysterious Carmilla into Lenore’s life. Carmilla, who is weak and pale during the day but vibrant at night, Carmilla who will not eat meals with the family, Carmilla who stirs up a hunger deep within Lenore. Soon girls from local villages begin to fall sick before being consumed by a terrible hunger.

Kat Dunn said: “Hungerstone is a story that poured out of me with raw anger, urgency and revelation. It is about appetite and agency, desire and despair, anad the deep, deep horror of waking up to the truth of what you have become. To have found a home with a team who understand the book on every level is far more than I ever expected. I am deeply grateful and endlessly excited to be working with everyone at Bonnier, and endlessly thankful to my agent, Hellie Ogden, for her tireless support. Readers, whet your appetite for spring 2025…”

Kat Dunn grew up in London and has lived in Japan, Australia and France. She has a BA in Japanese from SOAS and an MA in English from Warwick. She’s written about mental health for Mind and The Guardian, and worked as a translator for Japanese television. Her YA novels have been published by Head of Zeus and Andersen Press. HUNGERSTONE is her debut adult novel.

Hungerstone by Kat Dunn will be published by Manilla Press in 2025 in HB, TPB, ebook and audiobook as a lead publication.