Excerpt from Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Great Circle

by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead X
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
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  • Published:
    May 2021, 608 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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Eight cameras will record my plunge: six fixed, two operated by divers. The plan is to do it once. Twice, at most. It's an expensive shot, and our budget was never enormous and has now been exhausted and then some, but when you've come this far, the only way out is through. Best-case scenario, it takes all day. Worst-case scenario, I drown, wind up In Memoriam, wind up like my parents except in a fake plane and a fake ocean, not even trying to get anywhere.

"You're sure you want to do this?"

The stunt coordinator is checking my harness, all business as he digs around my crotch, feeling for the straps and clips among bristly reindeer hair. True to type, he's got a leathery face, a leathery wardrobe, and a stop-action way of walking from a few imperfect repair jobs.

"Totally," I say.

When he's done, the crane lifts us up, swings us out. There's a scrim at the end of the tank that makes a kind of horizon with the water, and I'm her, Marian Graves, flying over the Southern Ocean with my fuel gauge on empty, and I know I can't get anywhere other than where I am, which is nowhere. I wonder how cold the water will be, how long before I'm dead. I think through my options. I think about what I've promised myself. A gannet plunge.

"Action," says a voice in my earpiece, and I push on the fake plane's yoke as though I'm going to fly us down into the center of the earth. The pulleys tip the nose, and we dive.

Excerpted from Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. Copyright © 2021 by Maggie Shipstead. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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