Margot Livesey

MARGOT LIVESEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Mercury, The Flight of Gemma HardyThe House on Fortune StreetBanishing VeronaEva Moves the FurnitureThe Missing WorldCriminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New YorkerVogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.  Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


  • If only I’d been able to read The Hidden Machinery before I began my first novel. It would have saved me so much trouble! Margot Livesey’s essays are not only helpful and informative (about writing and great writers–Austen! Woolf! Flaubert!) but every witty, elegant sentence is a pure pleasure to read.

    —Francine Prose

  • There is no finer teacher of writing in America than Margot Livesey. The young writer who spends an hour with Livesey leaves with pockets filled with nuggets of her sly intuitions. To have an entire book of her wit, wisdom and constructive suggestions is to possess the mother lode.

    —James Magnuson, Director of the Michener Center for Writers and author of FAMOUS WRITERS I HAVE KNOWN

  • I’ve learned a great deal over the years from the wise counsel and dazzling intelligence of my dear friend Margot Livesey. With these brilliant essays, she offers all her lucky readers a new way to understand fiction’s inner workings. Her readings of old favorites and more recent delights brim with warmth and insight and her revelations make this an essential companion for all serious readers and writers.

    —Andrew Barrett, National Book Award winner