Maggie O'Farrell biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Maggie O'Farrell
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Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell Biography

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of six previous novels, After You'd GoneMy Lover's LoverThe Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Vanishing Act of Esme LennoxThe Hand That First Held Mine, which won the Costa Novel Award; and Instructions for a Heatwave, which was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.

About This Biography
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Interview

In three separate interviews, one video, two text, Maggie O'Farrell talks about The Hand That First Held Mine, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, how she became a writer and the major influences on her writing style.

A Conversation with Maggie O'Farrell about
The Hand That First Held Mine


What made you want to write this book?

A few years ago, I attended an exhibition of John Deakin's photographs at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Many of them were portraits of people in Soho in the 1950s: artists, writers, actors, musicians. Soho is an area of London that is famous for many things but I hadn't known that, for a short time after the Second World War, it had been the centre of an artistic movement. The bohemian, underground world which thrived there so briefly and which was captured so vividly by Deakin fascinated me. I began to conceive a story about a girl, Lexie, who arrives there from a very conventional home and makes a life for herself as a journalist.

There are two stories in the novel, aren't there?

The other story is set in the present day and is about Elina, a young Finnish painter, who has just had her first child. With Elina, I was interested in writing about new motherhood, those...

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Books by this Author

Books by Maggie O'Farrell at BookBrowse
This Must Be the Place jacket Instructions for a Heatwave jacket The Hand that First Held Mine jacket The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Maggie O'Farrell 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 readalikes

  • Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

    Try:
    The Blind Assassin
    by Margaret Atwood

  • Amy Bloom

    Amy Bloom

    Amy Bloom, a psychotherapist for more than 20 years, is the author of two novels and three collections of short stories, and a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Hand that First Held Mine

    Try:
    Away
    by Amy Bloom

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