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Margot Livesey biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Margot Livesey
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey Biography

Margot Livesey was born and grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. She is the author of a collection of stories and nine other novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, and The Boy in the Field. She has received awards from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is on the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Margot Livesey's website

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Interview

Margot Livesey explains why she chose to write about a romance between a man with Asberger's Syndrome and a radio show host, and what she learned from looking at the world from Zeke's very different viewpoint.

Where did the idea for this novel come from?
In 1998 I read a story in the newspaper about a Scottish student who came to Miami for his summer holidays, was mugged and ended up trying to rob a bank. Something about the young man's bewilderment, his parents' dismay, crystallized two long held writerly ambitions: to depict someone who saw the world differently and to explore the difficulties of knowing another person. I sat down almost at once and wrote what became the first chapter. I then set it aside for almost two years while I worked on Eva Moves the Furniture. When I returned to my pages I realized at once that my character, Zeke, would never rob a bank and that I was also writing a love story.

The book's narration alternates effortlessly between the point of view of a young man with a personality disorder and the point of view of a female, pregnant radio show host. How did you cultivate these two very different voices and was it difficult to switch back and forth, writing from both perspectives?
Switching back and forth between Zeke and Verona was one of the great pleasures of writing the novel. I loved trying to understand the world from Zeke's particular angle. What do we actually see ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Margot Livesey at BookBrowse
The Road from Belhaven jacket The Boy in the Field jacket Mercury jacket The Flight of Gemma Hardy jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Margot Livesey but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Jill Bialosky

    Jill Bialosky

    Jill Bialosky is the author of four poetry collections: The Players; The End of Desire; Subterranean, a finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and Intruder, a finalist for the 2009 ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Banishing Verona

    Try:
    The Prize
    by Jill Bialosky

  • Nickolas Butler

    Nickolas Butler

    Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is the author of the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Mercury

    Try:
    The Hearts of Men
    by Nickolas Butler

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