Related to: 'Maggie O'Farrell'

Tinder Press

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell
Tinder Press

The Watch House

Bernie McGill
Authors:
Bernie McGill

In the vein of Hannah Kent's Burial Rites, THE WATCH HOUSE by Bernie McGill is the story of the modern world arriving on Rathlin, a remote Irish island, at the very end of the nineteenth century, with dramatic consequences for a young woman named Nuala.As the twentieth century dawns on the island of Rathlin, a place ravaged by storms and haunted by past tragedies, Nuala Byrne is faced with a difficult decision. Abandoned by her family for the new world, she receives a proposal from the island's aging tailor. For the price of a roof over her head, she accepts.Meanwhile the island is alive with gossip about the strangers who have arrived from the mainland, armed with mysterious equipment which can reportedly steal a person's words and transmit them through thin air. When Nuala is sent to cook for these men - engineers, who have been sent to Rathlin by Marconi to conduct experiments in the use of wireless telegraphy - she encounters an Italian named Gabriel, who offers her the chance to equip herself with new skills and knowledge. As her friendship with Gabriel opens up horizons beyond the rocky and treacherous cliffs of her island home, Nuala begins to realise that her deal with the tailor was a bargain she should never have struck.

Tinder Press

The Butterfly Cabinet

Bernie McGill
Authors:
Bernie McGill

An unforgettable story of two women linked by their roles in a tragedy at the end of the Victorian era, THE BUTTERFLY CABINET by Bernie McGill will appeal to fans of THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX or THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER, and was singled out by Julian Fellowes as his Book of the Year in the Guardian.On a remote estate in the north of Ireland, a little girl dies, and the community is quick to condemn her mother, Harriet Ormond. Now, after seventy years, Maddie McGlade, a former nanny at the house, knows the time has come to reveal her own role in the events of that day.From Maddie's reminiscences and Harriet's long-concealed diaries emerges an unforgettable story of motherhood and betrayal, and of two women, mistress and servant, inextricably connected by an extraordinary secret.

Tinder Press

This Must Be the Place

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell
Tinder Press

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE: Exclusive Chapter Sampler

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell
Tinder Press

Maggie O'Farrell: A Reader's Guide - free digital compendium

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

This free digital collection brings together extracts from Sunday Times bestseller and Costa Novel Award-winner Maggie O'Farrell's six novels. Whether you're discovering Maggie O'Farrell for the first time or revisiting your favourite novels, this collection showcases the work of one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful writers at work today. Follow #DiscoverMaggie to find out more.Special bonus material: find out what inspired Maggie to write her haunting debut, After You'd Gone, and the bestselling Instructions for a Heatwave.

Tinder Press

Instructions for a Heatwave

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

The stunning new novel from Costa-Novel-Award-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell: a portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976.It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each wih different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.Maggie O'Farrell's sixth book is the work of an outstanding novelist at the height of her powers.

Tinder Press

Instructions for a Heatwave

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

The stunning new novel from Costa-Novel-Award-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell: a portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976.It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each wih different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.Maggie O'Farrell's sixth book is the work of an outstanding novelist at the height of her powers.

Tinder Press

The Hand That First Held Mine

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell
Tinder Press

After You'd Gone

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

Headline Review

The Hand That First Held Mine

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

Winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE is a gorgeously written story of love and motherhood, a tour de force from one of our best loved novelists.When the bohemian, sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life for herself, with Innes at her side. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina, a painter, struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood, memories that don't tally with his parents' version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, so an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected.(P)2010 Headline Digital

Headline Review

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX is vintage Maggie O'Farrell: a stunning imagining of a life stolen, and reclaimed.Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done.Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released.Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, seems unable to answer Iris's questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family's history?

Headline Review

The Distance Between Us

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell

Gripping, insightful and deft, Maggie O'Farrell's third novel is a haunting story of the way our families shape our lives. It was winner of the Somerset Maugham Award.On a cold February afternoon, Stella catches sight of a man she hasn't seen for many years, but instantly recognises. Or thinks she does. At the same moment on the other side of the globe, in the middle of a crowd of Chinese New Year revellers, Jake realises that things are becoming dangerous.They know nothing of one another's existence, but both Stella and Jake flee their lives: Jake in search of a place so remote it doesn't appear on any map, and Stella for a destination in Scotland, the significance of which only her sister, Nina, will understand.

Headline Review

After You'd Gone

Maggie O'Farrell
Authors:
Maggie O'Farrell
Author

Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of five novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, and THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.

Maggie speaks of her novels, inspirations, and more

Read an interview with Maggie O'Farrell

1. Was your childhood ambition always to be a writer? If not, what inspired you to start writing? It was. I’ve no idea where the impulse sprang from but I can’t remember life without it. 2. How long have you been writing? I have a very clear memory of struggling with a story when I was about four or five. I asked my mother if she would write it for me and her reply made a huge impression on me. She said, ‘But if I wrote it it would be my story, not yours.’ It was a very astute answer, I think, as it spurred me to try harder. I’ve kept a diary since I was about nine and wrote stories during my teens. At university and in my early twenties I attended poetry classes, where I was taught by Jo Shapcott and then Michael Donaghy. These had a huge effect on my writing, forcing me to economise, to make each word pull its weight. I was 24 when I started writing what would eventually become my first novel, After You’d Gone. 3. What do you enjoy most about writing? I love the solitude and the secrecy of it - as well as the escapism. 4. Which writers do you admire? Dead ones: Charlotte Bronte, RL Stevenson, George Eliot, Edith Wharton, Leo Tolstoy, Anthony Burgess, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Molly Keane, James Hogg, Angela Carter, Virginia Woolf. Alive ones: Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, JM Coetzee, Michele Roberts, Ali Smith, Kate Atkinson, David Mitchell, Colum McCann, Peter Carey, Jeanette Winterson, William Boyd. 5. Which authors have influenced your writing the most and why? That’s a hard question. There are too many of them. The simplest answer would be, initially, Charlotte Bronte, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Albert Camus. I read them in my teens; your skin is at its thinnest then and you are at your most porous. What you read then will affect you for the rest of your life and I fell for Jane Eyre and The Yellow Wallpaper and The Outsider: they changed the way I looked at the world and my concept of what fiction could do. More recently, I’ve been entranced by Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf, Tolstoy, Edith Wharton, Angela Carter. If I like a book I might read it several times and with each read you find something different. There are books I will study. I’ve been poring over Mrs Dalloway in the last few months, trying to unpick the prose and the structure, in an attempt to work out how Woolf does it. It’s almost impossible, as it’s so brilliantly and tightly written. 6. What was the last good book you read? I’ve just finished Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, her interpretation of the Odysseus myth. I loved it as it always bothered me that Penelope seemed so uncomplaining and patient in the face of her husband’s extended absence and persistant infidelity. 7. To what extent has your life experience influenced your writing? I don’t use my life in my novels, or not directly. I would never write autobiographically as I tend to write as an alternative to my life, not a repetition or imitation of it. But inevitably there are elements of it that come into my books, in different forms. I think all fiction is a patchwork of things you’ve made up, things you’ve borrowed or heard or read somewhere, and things you’ve translated from life. 8. Do you always know how your books will end before you start writing? No, not at all and that’s part of the pleasure. I have a quote by Picasso beside my desk: ‘If you know exactly what you are going to do, what is the point of doing it?’ I couldn’t imagine anything worse than planning every last detail of a book and then spending the next two or three years working through that plan. I enjoy the way your ideas for a book mutate and alter as you go along. I start – sometimes at the beginning, sometimes in the middle – often without any idea how it will end. And if I do begin with an image for the ending in mind usually by the time I get to the end it’s all changed. 9. What inspired your new novel The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox? It is a novel I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I first had the idea – of a woman who is incarcerated in an asylum for a lifetime – fifteen years ago. I tried to write it then, as my first novel, but it didn’t work and I ended up abandoning it to write After You’d Gone instead. This was in the mid nineties, after Thatcher’s Care in the Community Act, when psychiatric hospitals were being closed down and patients turfed out. There were a lot of stories flying around at that time of people, particularly women, like Esme who had been put away for reasons of immorality and left to rot. A friend told me about his grandmother’s cousin, who had just died in an asylum, having been put there in her early twenties for “eloping with a legal clerk”. The idea never went away and I gradually amassed more and more stories and examples of girls who had been committed in the early Twentieth century for little more that being disobedient or incalcitrant. When you start to dig a little deeper, into case notes and medical reports, the findings are terrifying. I’ve always been interested in the idea of what happens to the same type of woman – uncompromising, unconventional, refusing to fit into the domestic role society has set out for her – at different times in history. Centuries ago, she might have been condemned as a witch but as recently as sixty years ago she might have been deemed insane and committed to an asylum. 10. How is your new novel different from the previous ones? It feels very different to me, in lots of way. It’s partly historical as most of the book takes place in 1930s Edinburgh and colonial India. I think it’s tighter than the others: there are only three main characters, whereas the others have tended to be more wide-ranging. I did a great deal more research for it, on psychiatric practices and institutions, on life and society in the 1930s.

Maggie speaks of her novels, inspirations, and more

Read an interview with Maggie O'Farrell

1. Was your childhood ambition always to be a writer? If not, what inspired you to start writing? It was. I’ve no idea where the impulse sprang from but I can’t remember life without it. 2. How long have you been writing? I have a very clear memory of struggling with a story when I was about four or five. I asked my mother if she would write it for me and her reply made a huge impression on me. She said, ‘But if I wrote it it would be my story, not yours.’ It was a very astute answer, I think, as it spurred me to try harder. I’ve kept a diary since I was about nine and wrote stories during my teens. At university and in my early twenties I attended poetry classes, where I was taught by Jo Shapcott and then Michael Donaghy. These had a huge effect on my writing, forcing me to economise, to make each word pull its weight. I was 24 when I started writing what would eventually become my first novel, After You’d Gone. 3. What do you enjoy most about writing? I love the solitude and the secrecy of it - as well as the escapism. 4. Which writers do you admire? Dead ones: Charlotte Bronte, RL Stevenson, George Eliot, Edith Wharton, Leo Tolstoy, Anthony Burgess, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Molly Keane, James Hogg, Angela Carter, Virginia Woolf. Alive ones: Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, JM Coetzee, Michele Roberts, Ali Smith, Kate Atkinson, David Mitchell, Colum McCann, Peter Carey, Jeanette Winterson, William Boyd. 5. Which authors have influenced your writing the most and why? That’s a hard question. There are too many of them. The simplest answer would be, initially, Charlotte Bronte, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Albert Camus. I read them in my teens; your skin is at its thinnest then and you are at your most porous. What you read then will affect you for the rest of your life and I fell for Jane Eyre and The Yellow Wallpaper and The Outsider: they changed the way I looked at the world and my concept of what fiction could do. More recently, I’ve been entranced by Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf, Tolstoy, Edith Wharton, Angela Carter. If I like a book I might read it several times and with each read you find something different. There are books I will study. I’ve been poring over Mrs Dalloway in the last few months, trying to unpick the prose and the structure, in an attempt to work out how Woolf does it. It’s almost impossible, as it’s so brilliantly and tightly written. 6. What was the last good book you read? I’ve just finished Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, her interpretation of the Odysseus myth. I loved it as it always bothered me that Penelope seemed so uncomplaining and patient in the face of her husband’s extended absence and persistant infidelity. 7. To what extent has your life experience influenced your writing? I don’t use my life in my novels, or not directly. I would never write autobiographically as I tend to write as an alternative to my life, not a repetition or imitation of it. But inevitably there are elements of it that come into my books, in different forms. I think all fiction is a patchwork of things you’ve made up, things you’ve borrowed or heard or read somewhere, and things you’ve translated from life. 8. Do you always know how your books will end before you start writing? No, not at all and that’s part of the pleasure. I have a quote by Picasso beside my desk: ‘If you know exactly what you are going to do, what is the point of doing it?’ I couldn’t imagine anything worse than planning every last detail of a book and then spending the next two or three years working through that plan. I enjoy the way your ideas for a book mutate and alter as you go along. I start – sometimes at the beginning, sometimes in the middle – often without any idea how it will end. And if I do begin with an image for the ending in mind usually by the time I get to the end it’s all changed. 9. What inspired your new novel The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox? It is a novel I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I first had the idea – of a woman who is incarcerated in an asylum for a lifetime – fifteen years ago. I tried to write it then, as my first novel, but it didn’t work and I ended up abandoning it to write After You’d Gone instead. This was in the mid nineties, after Thatcher’s Care in the Community Act, when psychiatric hospitals were being closed down and patients turfed out. There were a lot of stories flying around at that time of people, particularly women, like Esme who had been put away for reasons of immorality and left to rot. A friend told me about his grandmother’s cousin, who had just died in an asylum, having been put there in her early twenties for “eloping with a legal clerk”. The idea never went away and I gradually amassed more and more stories and examples of girls who had been committed in the early Twentieth century for little more that being disobedient or incalcitrant. When you start to dig a little deeper, into case notes and medical reports, the findings are terrifying. I’ve always been interested in the idea of what happens to the same type of woman – uncompromising, unconventional, refusing to fit into the domestic role society has set out for her – at different times in history. Centuries ago, she might have been condemned as a witch but as recently as sixty years ago she might have been deemed insane and committed to an asylum. 10. How is your new novel different from the previous ones? It feels very different to me, in lots of way. It’s partly historical as most of the book takes place in 1930s Edinburgh and colonial India. I think it’s tighter than the others: there are only three main characters, whereas the others have tended to be more wide-ranging. I did a great deal more research for it, on psychiatric practices and institutions, on life and society in the 1930s.

Her novels, inspirations and more

An interview with Maggie O'Farrell

Click here to read an interview with Maggie O'Farrell, where she talks about her novels, inspirations and more.

07 Mar
6:00PM , WATERSTONE'S EDINBURGH WEST END

Maggie O'Farrell Author Talk - Edinburgh