Margot Livesey's picture

Margot Livesey

Scotland (b.1953)

Margot Livesey is a Scottish born writer. She is the author of six novels, numerous short stories, and essays on the craft of writing fiction.Livesey came to North America during the 1970s where she worked to get her fiction published, reportedly because her boyfriend at the time was also a writer. Livesey's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and a number of literary quarterlies. She is also the Fiction Editor at Ploughshares, a renowned literary journal. She currently lives in the Boston area and is the writer-in-residence at Emerson College.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Mystery
Non fiction
Margot Livesey recommends
Blood (2001)
Patricia Traxler
"With her stunning first novel, Blood, Patricia Traxler plunges the reader into a world both familiar and eerie. Seldom have the twin obsessions of love and art been more vividly or intelligently portrayed. What an elegant, suspenseful, and steamy debut."
Bulletproof Girl (2005)
Quinn Dalton
"Quinn Dalton is that rare being, a writer who combines fierce passion and keen intelligence. Both are amply present in the far-ranging stories of this splendid collection."
London Is the Best City in America (2006)
Laura Dave
"With its suspenseful plot, endearing heroine and vivid prose, Laura Dave's London is the Best City in America is an immensely appealing novel. A sparkling debut."
The Dressmaker (2006)
Elizabeth Birkelund
"Utterly irresistible ... The Dressmaker is a delight."
Resurrection (2006)
Tucker Malarkey
"An irresistible heroine... an immensely suspenseful novel."
Commuters (2010)
Emily Gray Tedrowe
"Tedrowe explores the reconfigurations of a family and the strange alliances that can occur between young and old, love and work. A deeply satisfying debut."
The Quickening (2010)
Michelle Hoover
"A fully realized, sensually vivid, psychologically intelligent novel that is hard to believe is a debut, but it is a sparkling one."
The Architect of Flowers (2011)
William Lychack
"Precise, exhilarating, sometimes wonderfully funny and always beautiful."
Broken Irish (2011)
Edward J Delaney
"In Edward J. Delaney's South Boston little is lost, nothing forgotten. Old sins, old wounds haunt his characters, young and old, and reverberate throughout his wonderfully complicated plot. Broken Irish is an enthralling, satisfying novel."
The Longings of Wayward Girls (2013)
Karen Brown
"Ethralling...Once you've discovered this haunted world, you won't want to leave it."
The Halo Effect (2017)
Anne D Leclaire
"The Halo Effect is both profoundly moving and deeply satisfying."
'Round Midnight (2017)
Laura McBride
"Round Midnight is a passionate, gripping and beautifully written novel."
The Weight of Ink (2017)
Rachel Kadish
"A beautiful, intelligent and utterly absorbing novel."
Bonnie (2018)
Christina Schwarz
"Bodies fall, blood flies, Bonnie and Clyde sleep in stolen cars and can’t eat in restaurants but so long as they are in the headlines all is well. In Bonnie, Schwarz has created a mesmerizing portrait of a young woman who longs to live a larger life and who almost always acts in her own worst interests. A stunning novel."
Winter Kept Us Warm (2018)
Anne Raeff
"From the first night that Ulli, Leo, and Isaac meet, in a bar in Berlin the winter after the war, the reader is absorbed in their history and their fate. Raeff writes with vivid assurance about Berlin, America, and Morocco, about men and women, about love and work. As the boundaries between characters shift, as past and present converge, Winter Kept Us Warm casts a dazzling spell. A wonderful novel."
The Balcony (2018)
Jane Delury
"From the opening pages of The Balcony I was enthralled by Jane Delury's picture of Benneville and by her expansive sense of character. In ways both profound and moving she shows on page after beautiful page how her characters live inextricably in a time and a place. A stellar debut."
Paris by the Book (2018)
Liam Callanan
"In Paris by the Book, the marvelously gifted Liam Callanan tells a spellbinding story of reading and writing, romance and marriage, French frozen food and a small bookshop. I loved walking the streets of Marais with his eloquent narrator. And I loved how Callanan simultaneously reveals the history of her marriage and of her adopted city. Open a bottle of wine, open this wise and wonderful book, and enjoy."
Wonderblood (2018)
Julia Whicker
"In fiercely glittering prose Julia Whicker evokes an apocalyptic America where medicine is illegal, everyone is searching for portents and only a severed head can offer protection. I love how richly imagined this novel is and I love how relentlessly it moves towards its amazing climax. Wonderblood is a stunning debut."
The Great Believers (2018)
Rebecca Makkai
"The Great Believers is by turns funny, harrowing, tender, devastating, and always hugely suspenseful. It reminds us, poignantly, of how many people, mostly young, often brilliant, were lost to the AIDS epidemic, and of how those who survived were marked by that struggle. This is Rebecca Makkai at the height of her powers."
Thank Your Lucky Stars (2018)
Sherrie Flick
"Flick's new collection brims with wit and wisdom, love and disaster, and the best kinds of surprises."
Weather Woman (2018)
Cai Emmons
"Weather Woman tells the utterly absorbing story of a failed graduate student who goes from reporting the weather - she's a singing meterologist - to having a much more complicated relationship with it. As Bronwyn gradually discovers her powers, she also struggles to use them responsibly. In doing so, she finds herself arguing with sceptics and believers alike. Cai Emmons has written a deeply fascinating and extremely timely novel."
Before Anyone Else (2020)
Leslie Hooton
"Like a good tasting menu Leslie Hooten’s Before Anyone Else is full of delicious contrasts and dazzling surprises. It is also wonderfully suspenseful as we watch the fragile and intrepid Bailey make her way in the complicated world of restaurant design. Hooten understands so well how love and work are often intertwined. A splendid debut."
The Pelton Papers (2020)
Mari Coates
"In The Pelton Papers, the wonderfully gifted Mari Coates recreates in gorgeous detail both Agnes Pelton’s work and the life that led to that work. Reading these mesmerizing pages, I felt that I understood all over again the hardships and the joy of making art. From first to last, Pelton is on a journey of the soul and we, her lucky readers, are privileged to accompany her on that journey of darkness and radiance. A truly marvelous debut."
The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls (2020)
Ursula Hegi
"The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls is a novel full of marvels?children with missing fathers, girls too young to be mothers, nuns who cherish their charges, circus acrobats, the beautiful northern light - but the greatest marvel is Ursula Hegi’s shimmering, radiant, vivid prose. Her characters, and their lives full of love and longing, leap off the page and into the reader’s heart."
The Party Upstairs (2020)
Lee Conell
"In The Party Upstairs Lee Conell follows Martin and Ruby, father and daughter, through a single day as they negotiate the exasperating occupants, living and dead, of the co-op where Martin works as the superintendent. Conell writes with wonderful wit and empathy about the importance of money, the longing for a larger life and the confusions between a parent and an adult child. An irresistible novel."
What Happens at Night (2020)
Peter Cameron
"In the beautiful What Happens at Night, Peter Cameron sends a married couple to a mysterious northern country where only the schnapps is reliable. The world he creates is both recognizable and enchantingly strange. I never knew what was going to happen next, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. A profound pleasure for readers."
Good Neighbors (2021)
Sarah Langan
"In the wonderfully inventive Good Neighbors, Sarah Langan takes her readers on a wild ride through suburbia. As sinkholes open and rumours rise, I couldn’t stop turning the pages to find out what new terrible event would befall these fascinating characters, each with a secret sorrow. A gripping read."
Her Here (2021)
Amanda Dennis
"In Her Here, Dennis has written a metaphysical investigation that is also a wonderfully personal account of a daughter coming to terms with the loss of her mother, and a mother coming to terms with the loss of her daughter. As Elena conjures Ella’s last days, the richly imagined narrative moves back and forth between Paris and Thailand, carrying both characters and readers to a vivid and suspenseful conclusion."
The Living and the Lost (2021)
Ellen Feldman
"A deeply satisfying and truly adult novel."

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