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About Maggie O'Farrell
Maggie O’Farrell, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is the author of HAMNET, Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, and the memoir I AM, I AM, I AM, both Sunday Times no. 1 bestsellers. Her novels include AFTER YOU’D GONE, MY LOVER’S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, and THE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT. She is also the author of two books for children, WHERE SNOW ANGELS GO and THE BOY WHO LOST HIS SPARK. She lives in Edinburgh.
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Books By Maggie O'Farrell
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A Reese's Bookclub December Pick
An Instant Sunday Times, New York Times and Irish Times Bestseller (August 2022)
A Guardian and LitHub Book of the Year (December 2022)
'Every bit as evocative and spellbinding as Hamnet. O'Farrell, thank God, just seems to be getting better and better' i newspaper
'Her narrative enchantment will wrest suspense and surprise out of a death foretold' Financial Times
'Ingenious, inventive, humane, wry, truthful . . . better than her last novel' Scotsman
'Finely written and vividly imagined' Guardian
'In O'Farrell's hands, historical detail comes alive' Spectator
Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her.
Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence's grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband.
What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival.
The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.
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WINNER OF THE 2020 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION - THE NO. 1 BESTSELLER 2021
'Richly sensuous... something special' The Sunday Times
'A thing of shimmering wonder' David Mitchell
TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A LOSS THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.
On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a sudden fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?
Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London.
Neither parent knows that Hamnet will not survive the week.
Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright: a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.
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AS FEATURED ON DESERT ISLAND DISCS, BIG SCOTTISH BOOK CLUB AND THE ZOE BALL BOOKCLUB, A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, IRISH TIMES, OBSERVER, RED and THE TELEGRAPH.
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE FOR MEMOIR AND AUTOBIOGRAPHY 2018*
I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference - the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman's life in near-death experiences. Insightful, inspirational, gorgeously written, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life's fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.
A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Timesbestselling author Maggie O'Farrell. It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?
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From the Costa Award winning, bestselling author of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE and I AM, I AM, I AM, comes an intense, breathtakingly accomplished story of a woman's life stolen, and reclaimed.
'Unputdownable' Ali Smith
Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done.
Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released.
Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, seems unable to answer Iris's questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family's history?
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A top-ten bestseller 2016, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE by Maggie O'Farrell crosses time zones and continents to reveal an extraordinary portrait of a marriage. 'A complex, riveting novel of love and hope that grips at the heart' The Sunday Times
A reclusive ex-film star living in the wilds of Ireland, Claudette Wells is a woman whose first instinct, when a stranger approaches her home, is to reach for her shotgun. Why is she so fiercely protective of her family, and what made her walk out of her cinematic career when she had the whole world at her feet?
Her husband Daniel, reeling from a discovery about a woman he last saw twenty years ago, is about to make an exit of his own. It is a journey that will send him off-course, far away from the life he and Claudette have made together. Will their love for one another be enough to bring Daniel back home?
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AFTER YOU'D GONE is the groundbreaking debut novel from the Costa-Award winning Maggie O'Farrell, author of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE and I AM, I AM, I AM. It is a stunning, best-selling novel of wrenching love and grief.
A distraught young woman boards a train at King's Cross to return to her family in Scotland. Six hours later, she catches sight of something so terrible in a mirror at Waverley Station that she gets on the next train back to London.
AFTER YOU'D GONE follows Alice's mental journey through her own past, after a traffic accident has left her in a coma. A love story that is also a story of absence, and of how our choices can reverberate through the generations, it slowly draws us closer to a dark secret at a family's heart.
This free digital collection brings together extracts from Sunday Times bestseller and Costa Novel Award-winner Maggie O'Farrell's six novels. Whether you're discovering Maggie O'Farrell for the first time or revisiting your favourite novels, this collection showcases the work of one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful writers at work today. Follow #DiscoverMaggie to find out more.
Special bonus material: find out what inspired Maggie to write her haunting debut, After You'd Gone, and the bestselling Instructions for a Heatwave.
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Winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award and a Sunday Times bestseller, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE by Maggie O'Farrell is a gorgeously written story of love and motherhood from the author of HAMNET and I AM, I AM, I AM.
When the sophisticated Innes Kent turns up on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with her sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood that don't tally with his parents' version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected.
Gripping, insightful and deft, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Maggie O'Farrell is a haunting story of the way our families shape our lives, from the award-winning author of HAMNET. It was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller and won the Somerset Maugham Award.
On a cold February afternoon, Stella catches sight of a man she hasn't seen for many years, but instantly recognises. Or thinks she does. At the same moment on the other side of the globe, in the middle of a crowd of Chinese New Year revellers, Jake realises that things are becoming dangerous.
They know nothing of one another's existence, but both Stella and Jake flee their lives: Jake in search of a place so remote it doesn't appear on any map, and Stella for a destination in Scotland, the significance of which only her sister, Nina, will understand.
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Set during the legendary summer of 1976, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE by Maggie O'Farrell was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.
'The Riordans will stay in your mind long after you finish this book. They're funny, infuriating and impossible not to love. They feel like family' Irish Times
It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.
Das vergessene Leben der Lucrezia de’ Medici
Florenz, 1557: Lucrezia de’ Medici ist gerade einmal zwölf Jahre alt, als ihr Vater sie per Brief mit Alfonso II. d’Este verlobt. Eigentlich war ihre ältere Schwester Maria dem Herzog von Ferrara versprochen, doch als diese überraschend verstirbt, tritt Lucrezia an ihre Stelle. Und wider Erwarten eröffnet sich der jungen Herzogin in Ferrara eine neue Welt: Plötzlich darf sie, die ihrer Familie immer als zu eigensinnig, zu störrisch und sensibel galt, selbst entscheiden, ob sie durch die Gärten flanieren oder sich ihrer geliebten Staffelei zuwenden will. Diese Freiheit aber ist an eine Bedingung geknüpft: Alfonso erwartet von ihr einen Sohn. Als dieser auf sich warten lässt, lernt Lucrezia seine dunkle, bedrohliche Seite kennen.
»O’Farrell gelingt das Kunststück, die bekannte Geschichte poetisch-zärtlich neu zu erzählen.« FAZ über Judith und Hamnet (Women's Prize for Fiction & British Book Award 2020)
Una malaltia infantil de la qual els metges deien que no es refaria mai. La necessitat adolescent de fugir que per poc no acaba en desastre. Una trobada terrorífica en un camí perdut de les muntanyes. Un part mal gestionat en un hospital sense prou personal.
Visc, i visc, i visc és un llibre de memòries, però un llibre de memòries peculiar: Maggie O'Farrell hi narra disset moments en què la seva vida va córrer perill i va estar a punt d'escapar-se-li entre els dits. Són disset escenes, disset vinyetes tenses, viscerals i plenes de vida, en les quals retrobem l'autora en diferents etapes vitals, amb diverses mentalitats, i en diversos llocs del planeta: és filla, i estudiant, i oficinista; és mare, viatgera, escriptora; ara està enamorada, ara amb el cor trencat, o solitària, rebel, angoixada, espantada o decididíssima. I, més enllà de les seves experiències esplèndidament narrades, el llibre ens interpel·la profundament: què faríem si la nostra vida estigués en perill? Com reaccionaríem? I què estaríem disposats a perdre, o a donar a canvi? Visc, i visc, i visc és alhora un recordatori de la fragilitat i la vulnerabilitat de l'existència i un cant lluminós a la vida, a no deixar-nos perdre, ni vèncer per l'adversitat, i aprofitar cada minut i cada batec. A fons.