Beloved Scottish Writer Margot Livesey discusses her new novel, The Road from Belhaven, in Conversation with Novelist Alice McDermott
Monday, March 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$10.00
Presented in Partnership with East City Bookshop
This event will be in-person at Hill Center and streamed live on our Facebook page.
“Powerful…. Livesey’s lyrical perfection comes at no expense to the plot, which barrels like a runaway train. This is a gem.”
– Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
New York Times best-selling author Margot Livesey discusses and reads from The Road from Belhaven, a
novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-
century Scotland. Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers
as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn’t, for instance, see
that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her “pictures” foretell various incidents
and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but she can seldom change it.
Luminous and transporting, The Road from Belhaven once again displays “the marvelous control of a
writer who conjures equally well the tangible, sensory world . . . and the mysteries, stranger and wilder,
that flicker at the border of that world.” — The Boston Globe
Margot Livesey grew up in a boys’ private schoolin 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 by Penguin Canada in 1986. Since then Margot has published nine novels: Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, Banishing Verona, The House on Fortune Street, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Mercury, and The Boy in the Field. Her tenth novel, The Road from Belhaven, will be published in February 2024 by Knopf. The Hidden Machinery, a collection of essays on writing, was published by Tin House Books in 2017.
Margot has taught at Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon,
Cleveland State, Emerson College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Tufts University, the University of
California at Irvine, the Warren Wilson College MFA program for writers, and Williams College. She has
been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the N.E.A., the Massachusetts
Artists’ Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. Margot is currently teaching at the University of
Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives with her husband, a painter, in Cambridge, MA, and goes back to
London and Scotland whenever she can.
Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones, says, “Every novel of Margot Livesey’s is, for her readers, a joyous discovery. Her work radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery.”
Alice McDermott is the author of nine novels, all published by FSG,including Charming Billy, winner of the National Book Award, and That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This,which were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of the essay collection What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction.Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and other publications. Her most recent novel is Absolution.
She lives outside Washington, DC.
Photo: Beowulf Sheehan
A book signing will follow the discussion.