Serena Burdick biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Serena Burdick

Serena Burdick

Serena Burdick Biography

Serena Burdick is the author of the novels Girl In The Afternoon and The Girls With No Names. She is the 2017 International Book Award Winner for Historical Fiction. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence, holds a Bachelors of Arts from Brooklyn College in English literature and an Associates of Arts from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in theater. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

Serena Burdick's website

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Interview

Serena Burdick discusses the challenges of researching, and writing, historical novels.

How did you first come up with the idea for The Girls with No Names?

I was listening to a BBC news report on the Irish Magdalene Laundries and became intrigued with the topic. Originally I planned to set the book in Ireland, but when I started my research I discovered similar laundries all over the world. It felt important to write about the House of Mercy as it was close to home and a place many people had no idea existed.

How did you go about your research?

I used annual reports from the House of Mercy that I found at the New York Public Library. These gave me the basics of how the house was run, but the real stories of what happened to these women inside the House of Mercy came from articles I found in the New York Times, New York Tribune and Brooklyn Daily Mail. They were accounts of women who had escaped as well as court records on convictions.

Was the story fully planned out, or did it come to you as you worked?

I only had a rough idea of Effie and Luella's story. Mable was never part of the original plan. Her story was one of those magical moments for a writer when a character appears out of nowhere and suddenly takes over. I'd never experienced it before, but her voice was so clear and strong, it was as if she was ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Serena Burdick at BookBrowse
The Girls with No Names jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Serena Burdick 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

  • Kathy Hepinstall

    Kathy Hepinstall

    Kathy Hepinstall was born in Odessa, Texas and was raised mostly in Spring, Texas, two hours from the Louisiana border, where most of her relatives still reside. She lives in Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The House of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Girls with No Names

    Try:
    Blue Asylum
    by Kathy Hepinstall

  • Anna Hope

    Anna Hope

    Anna Hope is an English writer and actress from Manchester. She is perhaps best known for her role as a humanoid cat in the popular BBC series "Doctor Who".

    Hope studied English at Oxford, attended the Royal Academy of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Girls with No Names

    Try:
    The Ballroom
    by Anna Hope

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View all 5 Readalikes

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