Saturday, September 05, 2009

What is Margot Livesey reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Margot Livesey, author of six novels--Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, Banishing Verona and The House on Fortune Street--and a collection of stories titled Learning By Heart.

Her entry begins:
I don't read as many books as I should by Antipodean writers. Richard Flanagan's gorgeously written novel Wanting made me want to correct this failing. Flanagan is a Tasmanian writer and Wanting is set in the nineteenth century, partly in Tasmania and partly in London. In 1854 Lady Jane Franklin, the widow of the famous polar explorer Sir John Franklin, visited the novelist Charles Dickens, then at the height of his fame, and asked him to rebut an article that suggested that her husband's crew had turned to cannibalism during the last days of their desperate expedition. This meeting provides the dark spark that ignites Flanagan's novel. In alternating chapters he explores Dickens's relationship with his wife, Sir John Franklin and a young actress named Ellen Tiernan and the Franklins' relationship with a young aboriginal girl named Mathinna. Flanagan succeeds in making both Dickens's inner life and the genocide of the aborigines in his native Tasmania equally...[read on]
Among the acclaim for Livesey's writing:
“Every novel of Margot Livesey’s is, for her readers, a joyous discovery. Her work radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery.”
—Alice Sebold

"Livesey is writing at her very best."
—Ann Patchett on The House on Fortune Street
Learn more about Margot Livesey and her work, and watch a video of the author discussing The House on Fortune Street.

Writers Read: Margot Livesey.

--Marshal Zeringue