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  • Published: 27 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780857526809
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 608
  • RRP: $38.99

Great Circle

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021




A breath-takingly powerful epic that weaves together the astonishing lives of a 1950s vanished female aviator and the rebel-hearted Hollywood millennial who plays her on screen.A stand-out American literary work in the same league as THE GOLDFINCH and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021

'A gripping historical adventure that feels sharp, fresh and modern' STYLIST'An amazing literary feat' CURTIS SITTENFELD
'A masterpiece' NIGELLA LAWSON

A soaring, breathtakingly ambitious novel that weaves together the astonishing lives of a 1950s vanished female aviator and the modern-day Hollywood actress who plays her on screen. For fans of TAYLOR JENKINS REID, WILLIAM BOYD and ANN PATCHETT
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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 scandal-ridden Hollywood actress whose own parents perished in a plane crash is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the true mystery behind the vanished pilot.
_________________________________________
'Extraordinary' NEW YORK TIMES
'Full of adventure, passion and tragedy' THE TIMES
'Soars from the very first page' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'Luminous, masterful. Glides seamlessly through 20th century history' TELEGRAPH
'Breathtaking' OBSERVER

  • Published: 27 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780857526809
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 608
  • RRP: $38.99

About the author

Maggie Shipstead

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 latest novel GREAT CIRCLE has been seven years in the writing and is due to be published around the world. Maggie Shipstead grew up in California and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Praise for Great Circle

This is truly exceptional storytelling, combining a sweeping arc of history with writing that, at sentence level, is near-flawless

BOOKSELLER, A Fiction Pick of the Year

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

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]

Luminous, masterful ... glides seamlessly through the 20th century immersing the reader. Tremendously well-written.

TELEGRAPH

Impressive and gripping

SUNDAY TIMES

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]

Effortlessly woven... deserves to be savoured slowly

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

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

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

GREAT CIRCLE is a novel of our insatiable need to stare down the terrible, magnificent vastness of it all: love, war, desire, fear ... A sweeping, swashbuckling book, full of oversaturated colour and grand destiny. The joy of this dynamic, soaring novel is not a welcome extra but its very engine

TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

A clever, poignant story about ambition, love and sacrifice that'll completely draw you in

COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE

One of the most hotly anticipated novels of the spring

MARIELLA FROSTRUP, TIMES RADIO

Vast and entrancing

BA HIGH LIFE

A gripping historical adventure that feels sharp, fresh and modern

STYLIST MAGAZINE

Nothing short of brilliant

OPRAH DAILY

Swinging from one century to the next, from the moneyed splendor of cities to the shifting Antarctic ice, Shipstead's prose overflows with meticulous detail

MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

Grand, audacious and completely engrossing

DAILY MIRROR

This ambitious, wide-ranging and psychologically insightful novel is a tour-de-force

DAILY EXPRESS

A riveting novel with powerful characters that will excite, shock and enthral

PSYCHOLOGIES MAGAZINE

This epic novel tops 600 pages but you'll still want more. Ambitious, cannily constructed and entertaining

MAIL ON SUNDAY

From near-death experience in childhood, to marriage to a bootlegger, Marian rockets off the page in this gripping novel. A staggering story

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE

It is rare to read a novel that is as beautifully built as it is elegantly written. Moving and surprising at every turn

GUARDIAN

Encompasses flight, travel adventure, identity, sexuality, family, the celebrity age - and in such beautiful writing. A masterpiece.

NIGELLA LAWSON

Ambitious, intricately detailed, rich and considered

INDEPENDENT

A WOMAN'S WEEKLY BOOK CLUB READ

MY WEEKLY

Great Circle is an epic trip-through Prohibition and World War II, from Montana to London to present-day Hollywood-and you'll relish every minute

PEOPLE MAGAZINE

Glitz and guts square off in Great Circle: a tale of two women set apart by a century, fighting to retain control of their own lives in a society that demands subservience. Shipstead is adept at writing so vividly, the reader can feel the thrill and pain of her characters. Cunningly crafted. . . richly layered, a joy to read . . . riveting

THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW

Mesmerizing

TATLER

Daringly ambitious... a novel that invites the reader to immerse themselves in the sweep of history, the rich and detailed research... breathtaking

OBSERVER

A work of epic proportions and rich, cinematic detail

FINANCIAL TIMES, BEST OF SUMMER BOOKS

A generous, escapist treat

i-PAPER, 30 BEST BOOKS FOR SUMMER

One of the most hotly anticipated books of the spring

MARIELLA FROSTRUP

An enthralling epic about aviation and adventure. A big, baggy blast of a book bulging with sex and drugs, taking in Prohibition-era Montana, wartime London, present-day Hollywood, painting and physics. I loved it

REBECCA JONES, BBC ARTS CORRESPONDENT

Sweepingly panoramic and immersive

DAILY MAIL

Enthralling. Moving and surprising at every turn

GUARDIAN

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Great Circle book club notes

Take your book club on an enthralling journey over oceans and continents.

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