Photograph: Christina Smiley
Mark Blacklock is a doctor of the fourth dimension, speaks third-class Japanese and was once a human cannonball. He lives in South London with his wife and three daughters. Mark's debut novel, I'M JACK, about the Yorkshire RIpper hoaxer, was published by Granta in June 2015.
Praise for I'M JACK (2015)
'A chilling debut' FT
'[An] intelligent and disturbing slice of noir... Blacklock fits effortlessly into the lineup of accomplished literary chroniclers of the Ripper years' Guardian
'Here are dark telegrams from an expertly realised otherness that is Sunderland. Spare. Swift. Smart. And dangerous. Carrying us through maps of shame to rescue a convincing fiction of the past from its sullen entropy' Iain Sinclair
'Compelling, troubling, fascinating, a delight to read. It is a sublime anti-novel and a brilliantly original intervention into a most peculiar episode of recent history' James Miller
'Less a novel and more an assault on the senses, I'm Jack uses inter-textual trickery and deft Mackem parlance to create a portrait of a man obsessed. It is a forensic montage, a frenzied confessional and a stark commentary on the effects of public notoriety... [A] story as pathetic as it is moving, as haunted as it is necessary. It takes the true crime novel into an exciting new direction' Benjamin Myers
'An absorbing and fascinating read. Using multi-layered storytelling, a deep personal knowledge of Sunderland past, present and legend in a believable and hard-hitting blend of fact and imagination, it paints a genuinely disturbing vision of an obsessive, calculating and ultimately self-destructive personality' Bryan Talbot
In this provocative novel Mark Blacklock portrays the true and complex history of John Humble, aka Wearside Jack, the Ripper Hoaxer, a timewaster and criminal, sympathetic and revolting, the man hidden by a wall of words, a fiction-spinner worthy of textual analysis. In this remarkable work, John Humble leads the reader into an allusive, elusive labyrinth of interpretations, simultaneously hoodwinking and revealing. I'm Jack is a riveting novel about truth, lies, prison and shame. It is also a profound and furious love letter to Sunderland. It is a puzzle, a hoax, a multi-voice portrait and a virtuoso assemblage of textual elements. I'm Jack announces the arrival of a radically talented and innovative novelist.