nys writers logo


Margot Livesey, photo by Emma HardyMargot Livesey
Fiction Writer

Previous Visit:
September 20, 2006

Jo PageJo Page
Fiction and
Non-fiction writer


NYS Writers Institute, March 20, 2012
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus
7:30 p.m. Reading | Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave., Albany NY

Margot Livesey, celebrated Scottish-born fiction writer and author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy (2012), a critically-acclaimed novel inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Jo Page, author of the memoir Going Out and the novel Weddings at Lakeview, will read from their work on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave., Albany, NY.  Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the authors will present an informal seminar in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Friends of the Albany Public Library, and are free and open to the public.

Margot Livesey
is the author most recently of The Flight of Gemma Hardy (2012), a modern-dayretelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.The novel follows the fortunes of a young woman who accepts a position as an au pair for a wealthy family in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The novel is as much a reimagining of Livesey’s unhappy Scottish girlhood in the 1950s and 1960s as it is a recasting of the 1847 classic of Gothic literature.

In advance praise, author Amy Bloom said, “Livesey’s prose is a garden of pleasures: precision here, lyricism there, wit and compassionate insight throughout.” Reviewing the novel for BookPage, Amy Scribner said, “The Flight of Gemma Hardy is the beautifully melancholic and wholly transporting story of one courageous girl searching for her place in a changing world.” Writing in the Daily Beast, Jane Ciabattari listed the novel as a “Must-Read,” and said, “Reinventing a beloved classic is a risky business, but it will come as no surprise to Margot Livesey’s admirers—a small but fervent group likely to be greatly enlarged by her wonderful new novel—that this abundantly gifted writer is more than a match for Jane Eyre.”

Margot LiveseyLivesey’s earlier books include The House on Fortune Street (2008), winner of the PEN New England Award; Banishing Verona (2004); Eva Moves the Furniture (2001), a finalist for the PEN New England Award, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year; The Missing World (2000); Criminals (1996); and Homework (1990). Novelist Geraldine Brooks called The House on Fortune Street, “Structurally daring and compulsively readable,” and said that Livesey “illuminates the complexities of love in some of its most difficult guises, and of loss in all of its immensity.” Novelist Andrea Barrett said of Eva Moves the Furniture, “Not since Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping has there been such a beautiful novel about the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.”

Jo PageJo Page has published fiction and nonfiction in Quarterly West, New Millennium Writings, The South Carolina Review, and other print and online journals. She was a finalist for the 2009 Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction prize and is the author of the “Reckonings” column in Metroland magazine. She received her MFA from the University of Virginia and has written a novel, Weddings at Lakeview, and a memoir, Going Out, about her years as an ordained Lutheran minister.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.