Books like The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

2013, Maggie O'Farrell


Maggie O'Farrell, RSL (born 27 May 1972), is a novelist from Northern Ireland. Her acclaimed first novel, After You'd Gone, won the Betty Trask Award, and a later one, The Hand That First Held Mine, the 2010 Costa Novel Award. She has twice been shortlisted since for the Costa Novel Award: for Instructions for a Heatwave in 2014 and This Must Be The Place in 2017. She appeared in the Waterstones 25 Authors for the Future. Her memoir I am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death reached the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list. Her novel Hamnet won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2020, and the fiction prize at the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Awards.

O'Farrell was born in Coleraine in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Wales and Scotland. At the age of eight she was hospitalised with encephalitis and missed over a year of school. These events are echoed in The Distance Between Us and described in her 2017 memoir I Am, I Am, I Am. She suffered from a pronounced stammer during her childhood and adolescence. She was educated at North Berwick High School and Brynteg Comprehensive School, and then at New Hall, University of Cambridge (now Murray Edwards College), where she read English Literature.

Similar Books

If you like The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, you might also like: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, The Reader, and Damage