Maggie Shipstead - Author

About the Author

Maggie Shipstead graduated from Harvard in 2005 and earned an M.F.A at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was also a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her debut novel, Seating Arrangements, won the Dylan Thomas Prize and the LA Times Prize for First Fiction. Astonish Me is her second novel.

 

Author photo © Alisha & Brook Photography

Featured books by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle

Great Circle

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2021

I WAS BORN TO BE A WANDERER From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger. In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian's life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace. Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a brilliant, troubled Hollywood starlet is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot's life. An enthralling journey over oceans and continents and a drama of exhilarating power, GREAT CIRCLE is perfect for book clubs and fans of William Boyd and Donna Tartt.

Astonish Me

Astonish Me

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/05/2014

May 2014 Book of the Month. A tale of the nature of talent, of personal achievement, of the shadow of the past and of ballet.  The author writes beautifully, having won the world’s largest award for writers under 30, the Dylan Thomas Prize, for her first novel, Seating Arrangements.  This is not as clever but it’s a lovely read of two generations of couples obsessed with dance.  There is some fascinating detail on creating modern ballet.   In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

eBooks of the Month
Seating Arrangements

Seating Arrangements

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2013

One of our Books of the Year 2013. Dark, comic with captivating prose, this is a stunning first novel and quite rightly being talked about as one of the literary debuts of 2012. A seemingly perfect East Coast upper crust american family are brought together by the oldest daughter's wedding. But the daughter is seven months pregnant and family tensions simmer just below the surface. Over the three days of the wedding run up and celebrations, the 59 year old patriarch, Winn's life implodes. Highly enjoyable, heartily recommended.   July 2013 Debut of the Month. Winner of the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize.   In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Seating Arrangements a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'This was an awesome and often touching read full of moments to reflect on' - Edel Waugh. Scroll down to read more reviews.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Maggie Shipstead

You have a friend in 10A

You have a friend in 10A

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2022

BY THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOKER SHORTLISTED AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING GREAT CIRCLE 'Maggie Shipstead combines cinematic scope with a poet's attention to detail' THE TIMES A collection of sparkling award-winning stories from Maggie Shipstead, epic storyteller and astonishing chronicler of the daring and the damaged. Diving into eclectic and vivid settings, from an Olympic village to a deathbed in Paris to a Pacific atoll, and illuminating a cast of unforgettable characters, Shipstead traverses the ordinary and extraordinary with cunning, compassion, and wit. Meet the tough-talking cowgirl determined to defy gender expectations on a remote ranch in Montana, only to fall into a triangle of unrequited love; a high-brow male novelist who comes to terms with the girlfriend he never had just as his literary debut goes to print; a honeymoon couple's time in the hills of Romania builds into a moment of shattering tragedy. In the title story, a famous child actress breaks away from a religious cult, as she tells - with brittle candour - her tale of childhood damage and the dark side of fame. Exuding both tenderness and bite, Shipstead exposes complicated truths in this dazzling collection sealing her reputation as an astonishingly versatile master of fiction. --------------------- 'Shipstead is a writer who can vividly summon whatever she chooses, taking the reader deep inside the world she creates' FINANCIAL TIMES

Great Circle

Great Circle

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/05/2021

Shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize - A Reader's Review A wonderful novel, so enjoyable and accessible that quite frankly it's amazing it's on the list at all! An epic tale that crosses generations and continents and weaves together the stories of an early 20th century female aviator and a modern day Hollywood actress. Full of girl power without being try-hard, this author also has a rare ability to write well about sex as real, raw and sensuous. Everybody should read this! - Tanya Carus Find out more about the 2021 Booker Prize Winner & Shortlist

Astonish Me

Astonish Me

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Ebook Release Date: 08/05/2014

From the prize-winning author of Seating Arrangements comes an exquisitely written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the shadows.After her relationship with Arslan sours, Joan decides to make a new life for herself. She quits ballet, marries a good man, and settles into the rhythm of Californian life with their son, Harry. But as the years pass, Joan comes to understand that ballet isn't finished with her yet: for there is no mistaking that Harry is a prodigy. Inevitably Joan is soon pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind and back to Arslan.Gripping and dramatic, Astonish Me is a story about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfilment, and how we can never truly escape from the secrets of the past.

Seating Arrangements

Seating Arrangements

Author: Maggie Shipstead Format: Ebook Release Date: 04/07/2013

A New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize and 2012 L.A. Times First Novel PrizeThe Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to an impeccably appropriate young man. The weekend is full of lobster and champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust seep through the cracks in the revelry.Winn Van Meter, father-of-the-bride, has spent his life following the rules of the east coast upper crust, but now, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, he must finally confront his failings, his desires, and his own humanity.