INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER
'Smart, ambitious and so beautifully written. An amazing literary feat' CURTIS SITTENFELD
'Epic in spirit and scope. A soaring masterclass' TELEGRAPH (five stars)
I WAS BORN TO BE A WANDERER
From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger.
In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian's life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace.
Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a brilliant, troubled Hollywood starlet is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot's life.
An enthralling journey over oceans and continents and a drama of exhilarating power, GREAT CIRCLE is perfect for book clubs and fans of William Boyd and Donna Tartt.
'Gripping' SUNDAY TIMES
'Extraordinary' NEW YORK TIMES
'One of the most hotly anticipated books of the spring' MARIELLA FROSTRUP
This is truly exceptional storytelling, combining a sweeping arc of history with writing that, at sentence level, is near-flawless ― BOOKSELLER
Luminous, masterful ... glides seamlessly through the 20th century immersing the reader. Tremendously well-written. ― TELEGRAPH
Effortlessly woven... deserves to be savoured slowly ― Katie Law, EVENING STANDARD
Accomplished and ambitious... Most novelists have their limits and cut their cloth accordingly. Shipstead is a writer who can vividly summon whatever she chooses, taking the reader deep inside the world she creates. ― FINANCIAL TIMES
Whether Shipstead is creating scenes in the Prohibition-era American West, in wartime London, or on a Hollywood movie set, her research is invisible, allowing a fully immersive experience. Ingeniously structured and so damn entertaining; this novel is as ambitious as its heroines - but it never falls from the sky. ― KIRKUS
Impressive and gripping ― SUNDAY TIMES
Books to look forward to in 2021 ― GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT, NEW STATESMAN
Shipstead's breathaking epic of a female aviator is a stunning feat ― PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY
Transcendent ... A rolling, roiling epic ... Through the interwoven stories of impetuous flyer Marian Graves and flavor-of-the-month actress Hadley Baxter, Shipstead ponders the motivating forces behind acts of daring defiance, self-fulfilment and self-destruction. An ambitious, soaring saga. ― BOOKLIST
Underpinning it all is a reverence for nature, thrumming in the forests of Montana, the jagged peaks of Alaska and the stupefying ice shelves of the Antarctic. Exhilarating, masterful depictions ... invites readers to contemplate both magnitude and majesty ― BOOKPAGE [Starred review]
This new work from the award-winning Shipstead (Seating Arrangements) justifies its length, by its intricately designed plot and by giving its compelling cast of characters room to breathe. As Hadley learns some of Marian's secrets (the ones that weren't in the script) readers will wonder how much we can truly know anyone. Highly recommended. ― LIBRARY JOURNAL [starred review]
Rocked by the cool cadences of Shipstead's prose, readers will embark on a journey through time and space. Across 600 pages, they'll link arms with its characters as they stroll along the decks of early-1900s ocean liners, then board private jets to eavesdrop on the poolside parties of 21st-century Hollywood. They'll spot eagles arcing over the wild frontiers of Prohibition-era America then feel the lonely, existential chill of the white expanses of Antarctica - in between city breaks in Europe and Australia ― INDEPENDENT
A gorgeous soaring story that takes flight from the very first page ― SUNDAY EXPRESS
Relentlessly exciting . . . My top recommendation for this summer. Shipstead's sweeping new female-centered epic intertwines the story of Marian, an aviator who wants to circumnavigate the globe with that of actor Hadley Baxter, cast a century later to play Marian in a film. What can Marian's life tell Hadley about her own? ― WASHINGTON POST
Dazzling prose in the service of an expansive story that covers more than a century and seems to encapsulate the whole wide world. With detailed brilliance, she lavishes heart and empathy on every character. She never wavers, pulls out a twist or two that feel fully earned, and then sticks the landing ― BOSTON GLOBE
In a moment when our quarantined worlds have become so small, GREAT CIRCLE offers more than just wanderlust; it feels like a liberation. ― ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
What's so impressive is how deeply we care about each of these people, and how the shape and texture of each of their stories collide to build a story all its own. GREAT CIRCLE grasps for and ultimately reaches something extraordinary ― NEW YORK TIMES
A clever, poignant story about ambition, love and sacrifice that'll completely draw you in ― COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE
Bestselling novelist Maggie Shipstead was struggling to depict a female adventurer. So she became one. The stakes of GREAT CIRCLE are high-for its heroine, literally life or death. Though Shipstead never learned to fly herself, she aligned with her main character Marian Graves in more important ways . . . She is interested in testing her limits ― L A TIMES
This wonderful novel weaves together the story of two women: a female aviator who goes missing in the1950s and the Hollywood star playing her in a film in the present day. A commitment that rewards with memorable characters and vivid storytelling ― GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
About the Author
MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD's debut novel SEATING ARRANGEMENTS was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and L A Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, The Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a two- time National Magazine Award finalist for fiction. Her second novel is the critically acclaimed ASTONISH ME. Her latest novel GREAT CIRCLE is due to be published around the world. Maggie Shipstead grew up in California and lives in Los Angeles, California.