Greer Macallister biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Greer Macallister

Greer Macallister

Greer Macallister Biography

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist whose work has appeared in publications such as The North American Review, The Missouri Review, and The Messenger. Her plays have been performed at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing.

Her debut novel The Magician's Lie was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain's Freckle Films. This was followed by Girl in Disgouise, about America's first female private detective.

Macallister lives with her family in Brooklyn.

Greer Macallister's website

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Interview

Greer Macallister outlines the real-life characters that populate her novel Girl in Disguise, including Kate Warne, who became the first female Pinkerton agent in 1856.

Kate Warne is one of the most interesting people we know almost nothing about.

The real Kate Warne was indeed hired as the first female Pinkerton agent by Allan Pinkerton himself in 1856 after answering a newspaper ad. That much we know. Multiple accounts say she was a widow, though what happened to her husband is not clear, nor why she took the extremely drastic step of applying for a position that had never previously been open to women.

We're not even sure what Kate looked like. There are no confirmed images of her. Two photographs show up from time to time in discussions of her. Both date from the Civil War, and both show a person in men's clothing, so it's far from certain that we're really looking at Kate. For such an influential and pioneering figure, precious little information about her has been recorded and passed down. Then again, as a detective and a spy, that's probably how she liked it.

Everywhere we turn for information on Kate's life, there are blank spaces. Many of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency's files are kept in the Library of Congress, and those files are extensive; however, much of the material previous to 1871 was wiped out by the Great Chicago Fire, and Kate's entire career was previous...

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Books by this Author

Books by Greer Macallister at BookBrowse
Girl in Disguise jacket The Magician's Lie jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Greer Macallister 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

  • Kimberly Elkins

    Kimberly Elkins

    Kimberly Elkins's fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Atlantic, Best New American Voices, The Iowa Review, The Village Voice, Chicago Tribune, Glamour, Maisonneuve, and Slice, among others. She was a finalist ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Girl in Disguise

    Try:
    What Is Visible
    by Kimberly Elkins

  • Lois Leveen

    Lois Leveen

    Award-winning author Lois Leveen dwells in the spaces where literature and history meet. Her work has appeared in numerous literary and scholarly journals, as well as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Girl in Disguise

    Try:
    The Secrets of Mary Bowser
    by Lois Leveen

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