Maggie O'Farrell - Author

About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of seven novels, 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, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. She lives in Edinburgh.

Featured books by Maggie O'Farrell

Instructions for a Heatwave

Instructions for a Heatwave

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/02/2013

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 wih 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.

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/01/2007

A 2012 World Book Night selection. Esme was a woman edited out of her family's history, and when, sixty years later, she is released from care, a young woman, Iris, discovers the great aunt she never knew she had. The mystery that unfolds is the heartbreaking tale of two sisters in colonial India and 1930s Edinburgh - of the loneliness that binds them together and the rivalries that drive them apart, and lead one of them to a shocking betrayal - but above all it is the story of Esme, a fiercely intelligent, unconventional young woman, and of the terrible price she is made to pay for her family's unhappiness ...

Other books by Maggie O'Farrell

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death The Breathtaking Number One Bestseller

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death The Breathtaking Number One Bestseller

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/05/2018

AS SELECTED FOR 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? I AM, I AM, I AM will speak to readers who loved Cheryl Strayed's WILD or Max Porter's GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS.

I Am, I Am, I Am

I Am, I Am, I Am

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: eBook Release Date: 06/02/2018

"e;I Am I Am I Amis a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive. Maggie O'Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book."e;Ann PatchettAn extraordinary memoirtold entirely in near-death experiencesfrom one of Britain's best-selling novelists, for fans of Wild, When Breath Becomes Air, and The Year of Magical Thinking.We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death.I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O'Farrell's astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter--for whom this book was written--from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life's myriad dangers.Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O'Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death The Breathtaking Number One Bestseller

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death The Breathtaking Number One Bestseller

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/08/2017

THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER, AND BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, IRISH TIMES, OBSERVER, RED and THE TELEGRAPH. 'O'Farrell takes up a bow and arrow and aims right at the human heart' The Times 'Absolutely, in every possible sense of the word, brilliant... spectacularly moving' Max Porter 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, intelligent, 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? I AM, I AM, I AM will speak to readers who loved Cheryl Strayed's WILD or Max Porter's GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS.

This Must Be the Place: Costa Award Shortlisted 2016

This Must Be the Place: Costa Award Shortlisted 2016

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD. SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG READER AWARDS. SHORTLISTED FOR THE SALTIRE SOCIETY FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR. SHORTLISTED FOR THE BGE IRISH BOOK AWARDS NOVEL OF THE YEAR. A top-ten bestseller, 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?

Instructions for a Heatwave

Instructions for a Heatwave

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: eBook Release Date: 18/06/2013

Sophisticated, intelligent, impossible to put down, Maggie O'Farrell's beguiling novelsAfter You'd Gone, winner of a Betty Trask Award; The Distance Between Us, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Hand That First Held Mine, winner of the Costa Novel Award; and her unforgettable bestseller The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennoxblend richly textured psychological drama with page-turning suspense. Instructions for a Heatwave finds her at the top of her game, with a novel about a family crisis set during the legendary British heatwave of 1976. Gretta Riordan wakes on a stultifying July morning to find that her husband of forty years has gone to get the paper and vanished, cleaning out his bank account along the way. Gretta's three grown children converge on their parents' home for the first time in years: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, with two stepdaughters who despise her and a blighted past that has driven away the younger sister she once adored; and Aoife, the youngest, now living in Manhattan, a smart, immensely resourceful young woman who has arranged her entire life to conceal a devastating secret. Maggie O'Farrell writes with exceptional grace and sensitivity about marriage, about the mysteries that inhere within families, and the fault lines over which we build our livesthe secrets we hide from the people who know and love us best. In a novel that stretches from the heart of London to New York City's Upper West Side to a remote village on the coast of Ireland, O'Farrell paints a bracing portrait of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are.

The Hand That First Held Mine

The Hand That First Held Mine

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 06/01/2011

Winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE is a gorgeously written story of love and motherhood, a tour de force from one of our best loved novelists. When the bohemian, sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance 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 for herself, with Innes at her side. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina, a painter, struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood, memories that don't tally with his parents' version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, so an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected.

Hand That First Held Mine

Hand That First Held Mine

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: eBook Release Date: 12/04/2010

Lexie Sinclair yearns for more than her parents' genteel country life. She makes her way to the city, where she meets a magazine editor, Innes, a man unlike any she has ever imagined. He introduces her to the thrilling world of bohemian postwar London, and Lexie learns to become a reporter, to know art and artists, to live fully, unconventionally, and with deep love. And when she finds herself pregnant by a man wholly unsuitable for marriage or fatherhood, she doesn't hesitate a minute to have the baby on her own. Later, in present-day London, a young painter named Elina dizzily navigates the first weeks of motherhood after a traumatic birth. Her boyfriend, Ted, shaken by nearly losing her in labor, begins to recover lost memories from his own obscured childhood. As the memory flashes return with ever more disconcerting frequency, we discover a heartbreaking and beautiful revelation that connects these two women and their stories. A stunning portrait of motherhood and the artist's life in all their terror and glory, Maggie O'Farrell's newest novel is a gorgeous inquiry into the ways we make and unmake our lives, and how even our most accidental legacies connect us.

Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: eBook Release Date: 24/10/2007

Iris Lockhart is busy tending to the everyday business of her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend's attempts at commitment when she receives a stunning phone call. Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never even knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital-where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris' grandmother, Kitty, always claimed to be an only child. But Esme's papers prove she is Kitty's sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme's face. Esme has been labeled harmless, sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme is still a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit? Weaving Esme's tragic story together with Iris' modern dilemmas, O'Farrell's gothic, intricate, cross-generational tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the complex longings of women will haunt listeners long past its final page.

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/01/2007

A 2012 World Book Night selection. Esme was a woman edited out of her family's history, and when, sixty years later, she is released from care, a young woman, Iris, discovers the great aunt she never knew she had. The mystery that unfolds is the heartbreaking tale of two sisters in colonial India and 1930s Edinburgh - of the loneliness that binds them together and the rivalries that drive them apart, and lead one of them to a shocking betrayal - but above all it is the story of Esme, a fiercely intelligent, unconventional young woman, and of the terrible price she is made to pay for her family's unhappiness ...

The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/01/2005

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 THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. 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.

My Lover's Lover

My Lover's Lover

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2003

From the Costa Award winning Maggie O'Farrell comes the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller MY LOVER'S LOVER, an intense, unnerving and passionate story of betrayal, loss and love, with all the frisson and psychological intensity of Rebecca. When Lily moves into Marcus's flat and plunges headlong into a relationship, she must contend not merely with the disapproval of flatmate Aidan, but with a more intangible, hostile presence. Could it be that Sinead, Marcus's ex, is trying to communicate with her? When Lily begins to 'see' Sinead, first about the flat, and then on the streets of London, she must question not merely her sanity, but whether the man she loves is someone she can, or indeed ought, to live with at all.

After You'd Gone

After You'd Gone

Author: Maggie O'Farrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2001

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.

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