Maggie Shipstead

Cindy Seip

Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times bestselling author of Astonish Me: A Novel and Seating Arrangements. Epic, emotional, and meticulously researched, her latest book, Great Circle: A Novel (Knopf), tells an epic story of two women 100 years apart. 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. After encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes, Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At 14 she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger. Their arrangement will haunt her for the rest of her life, but it allows her to circumnavigate 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 the latter’s disappearance in Antarctica. Her immersion into the character unfolds alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates – and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times – collide. The Washington Post celebrated it as a “soaring work of historical fiction. … Great Circle is a relentlessly exciting story about a woman maneuvering her way between tradition and prejudice to get what she wants.”