October 19 - November 5, 2017

Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
  • Colman Andrews
    Colman Andrews
  • Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman
  • Gordon Wood
    Gordon Wood
  • Gish Jen
    Gish Jen

Margot Livesey

Events: A Master Class for Those Who Love Reading & Writing

Book: The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing

Visit Author's Website

Margot Livesey grew up in a boys’ private school in the Scottish Highlands where her father taught, and her mother, Eva, was the school nurse. After taking a B.A. in English and philosophy at the University of York in England she spent most of her twenties working in shops and restaurants and learning to write. Her first book, a collection of stories called Learning By Heart, was published in 1986. Since then Margot has published eight novels: Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, Banishing Verona. The House on Fortune Street, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, and Mercury, which was published in September 2016.

In The Hidden Machinery, Margot Livesey offers a masterclass for those who love reading literature and for those who aspire to write it. Through close readings, arguments about craft, and personal essay, she delves into the inner workings of fiction and considers how our stories and novels benefit from paying close attention to both great works of literature and to our own individual experiences. Her essays range in subject matter from navigating the shoals of research to creating characters that walk off the page, from how Flaubert came to write his first novel to how Jane Austen subverted romance in her last one. As much at home on your nightstand as it is in the classroom, The Hidden Machinery will become a book readers and writers return to over and over again.

“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, author of Reading Like a Writer