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Elizabeth Macneal

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Born in Scotland, Elizabeth Macneal is a potter based in Limehouse, East London, working from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship.

Her debut novel The Doll Factory won the Caledonia First Novel Award and was published in Spring 2019 in the UK by Picador, who won a 14-way auction for the title, and Simon & Schuster / Emily Bestler Books who snapped up US rights in a significant deal.

Genres: Historical, Mystery
Elizabeth Macneal recommends
The Mercies (2020)
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
"The Mercies is storytelling at its most masterful. This is an exquisite tale of sisterhood, of love, of courage and of what happens when communities turn on each other . . . I raged, I laughed, I cried. I urge you to read this novel."
The Cat and The City (2020)
Nick Bradley
"An inventive, clever and beguiling read. With Tokyo as the backdrop, this is a beautifully written novel about belonging and loneliness, about escape and destruction, where the enmeshed narratives (and a magical cat) bind the city together."
The Push (2021)
Ashley Audrain
"I was totally hooked. Compelling, addictive, chilling. Smashing read."
Victoria Park (2021)
Gemma Reeves
"I absolutely loved Victoria Park. It's a stunning portrayal of a London community, where moments of heartbreak, sympathy and joy cast deep reverberations. A triumph of compassion and redemption, the lives of the characters are so finely observed, they might be our own. It reminded me of Elizabeth Strout and Jennifer Egan, and I know I'll be thinking about Wolfie and Mona for months to come."
My Phantoms (2021)
Gwendoline Riley
"Devastated by this novel. Gwendoline Riley can draw character like nobody else. The weight each pristine, witty sentence carries! This is life, its aches, its silences, its love, what is carried and left unsaid. Her prose is so sharp you could cut yourself on it."
The Christie Affair (2022)
Nina de Gramont
"I was enthralled, moved and entertained by The Christie Affair. This is a book which has it all - romance, enigma and wit in bucketloads. What's more, its devilishly good plot could out-do those written by Agatha Christie herself."
Devotion (2022)
Hannah Kent
"Absolutely stunning. The writing, the characters and the twist were just perfect. Any Hannah Kent novel is guaranteed to be powerful, moving and so imaginative, but this was something else. It is a story that will stay with me."
The Key in the Lock (2022)
Beth Underdown
"The Key in the Lock is an absolute triumph! Dark, clever and utterly enthralling, this is historical fiction - and storytelling - at its absolute best."
Violets (2022)
Alex Hyde
"Stunning and original... Written in pristine prose, it reminded me of the possibilities of language."
Briefly, A Delicious Life (2022)
Nell Stevens
"I found myself floored by Nell Stevens' mastery with language, by her deep understanding of the human spirit, by the astonishing freshness of this historical novel. Briefly, A Delicious Life is a shining work of art and Nell Stevens is an original, whose touch is as deft as it is masterful."
Dark Earth (2022)
Rebecca Stott
"Dark Earth skillfully imagines a past world where women must fight to survive in a society of feuds, violence and nation-building."

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