Margot Livesey biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Margot Livesey
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey Biography

Margot Livesey grew up in a boys’ private school in the Scottish Highlands where her father taught, and her mother, Eva, was the school nurse. After taking a B.A. in English and philosophy at the University of York in England she spent most of her twenties working in shops and restaurants and learning to write. Her first book, a collection of stories called Learning By Heart, was published by Penguin Canada in 1986. Since then Livesey has published several novels, including Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, Banishing Verona and The House on Fortune Street.

Margot Livesey has taught at Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon, Cleveland State, Emerson College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Tufts University, the University of California at Irvine, the Warren Wilson College MFA program for writers, and Williams College. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the N.E.A., the Massachusetts Artists’ Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. Livesey is currently a distinguished writer in residence at Emerson College and the John F. and Dorothy H. Magee writer in residence at Bowdoin College. She lives with her husband, a painter, in Cambridge, MA, and goes back to London and Scotland whenever she can.

About This Biography
This biography was last updated on 08/09/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

An Interview with Margot Livesey about Banishing Verona

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 ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Margot Livesey at BookBrowse
Mercury jacket The Flight of Gemma Hardy jacket The House on Fortune Street jacket Banishing Verona jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes 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 readalikes

  • 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

  • Anne Enright

    Anne Enright

    Anne Enright was born in Dublin in 1962, studied English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and went on to study for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. In 2007 she won the Man Booker Prize for... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Banishing Verona

    Try:
    The Forgotten Waltz
    by Anne Enright

We recommend 13 similar authors

View all 13 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.