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About Maggie Shipstead
Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Seating Arrangements, Astonish Me, and Great Circle and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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“A masterpiece ... One of the best books I’ve ever read.” —J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Friends and Strangers
After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There--after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes--Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.
A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two women's fates--and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times--collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, Great Circle is a monumental work of art, and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • The irresistible story of a summer New England wedding weekend gone awry—a deliciously biting satirical glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved, from the bestselling author of Great Circle.
The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne—seven months pregnant—to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface.
Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he’s been eyeing since birth, he’s also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia—recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival—is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson’s best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.
After playing a leading role in his celebrated defection, Joan bowed out of the spotlight for good, heartbroken by Arslan and humbled by her own modest career. But when her son turns out to be a ballet prodigy, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind—a world of dangerous secrets, of Arslan, and of longing for what will always be just out of reach.
“The inner lives of [Shipstead’s] characters feel as real and immediate as the shifting settings they inhabit: still-gritty mid-1970s Manhattan, shabbily elegant Paris, the sunbaked suburban sprawl of Southern California.” —Entertainment Weekly
A love triangle plays out over decades on a Montana dude ranch. A hurdler and a gymnast spend a single night together in the Olympic village. Mistakes and mysteries weave an intangible web around an old man’s deathbed in Paris, connecting disparate destinies. On the slopes of an unfinished ski resort, a young woman searches for her vanished lover. A couple’s Romanian honeymoon goes ominously awry, and, in the mesmerizing title story, a former child actress breaks with her life in a Hollywood cult.
In these and other stories, knockout after knockout, Shipstead delivers another “extraordinary” (New York Times) work of fiction and seals her reputation as a writer of “breathtaking range and skill” (Kirkus Reviews). Rich in imagination and dazzling in its shapeshifting style, You Have a Friend in 10A excavates the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways unsparing and hilarious, sharp-eyed and tender.
Ein fesselnder Tanz um Liebe, Leidenschaft und Lebenslügen
Joan steht der Abschied vom Ballett bevor: Sie ist schwanger und ihre Karriere als Tänzerin wahrscheinlich beendet. Sie heiratet Jacob, und das Paar zieht aus New York an die Westküste, wo sich beide stumm nach der Welt des Balletts verzehren: Joan nach dem Tanz, Jacob nach der Tänzerin, die Joan gewesen ist.
Doch ein Leben für den Tanz bedeutet nicht nur Drama, sondern auch hochfliegende Hoffnungen, erhabene Momente.
“If he had to referee their squabbles and navigate their quicksilver emotions while sifting through his father’s possessions, he hoped the house would not seem so empty, or he hoped at least the emptiness would be neutral.”
'If only," writes Halimah Marcus, Co-Editor of Electric Literature, in her introduction. "Instead, the emptiness proves quite virile. His father’s possessions are souvenirs of his romance with Simon’s mother (who died suddenly of a brain aneurism at forty-eight), further evidence of desire having its own half-life, independent of bodies and their relationships."
But for Simon, a man who "had always perceived a chaos in women about to break loose," "lust for his first wife has out-lived their marriage, while lust for his current wife is lifeless—bored, as he characterizes it, with her eagerness, her nubility," writes Marcus.
About the author:
Maggie Shipstead grew up in Orange County, CA. Maggie is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. She won the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize and the 2012 LA Times First Fiction Award for Seating Arrangements. Her short fiction has appeared in The Mississippi Review, The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best American Short Stories.
About Recommended Reading:
Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, the latest project from Electric Literature, publishes one story every week, each chosen by a great author or editor. In this age of distraction, we uncover writing that's worth slowing down and spending some time with. And in doing so, we help give great writers, literary magazines, and independent presses the recognition (and readership) they deserve.