Michelle Lovric 

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News

Updated the first week of the month.






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Harristown Sisters



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undrowned Child






 

 


How to Abuse, Insult & Insinuate in Classical Latin

































 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digging Up Paradise






 

October & November 2014

Book news

St George and the Dragon

Michelle Lovric is honoured to be appointed a Companion of the Guild of St George, established by the art historian and polymath John Ruskin in the 1870s. The Guild’s history, current projects and aims are described here. She hopes to take an active part in this wonderful organisation, and to make use of her writing and teaching skills, and her knowledge of Venice, for the benefit of the Guild.

Ruskin made this pencil and sepia sketch in 1870 -1, while studying the paintings of Vittore Carpaccio in the Scuola Dalmata in Venice.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

American reviews continue for the newly published American edition of The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.

 

‘Their tale is just as scandalous as a contemporary Hollywood tell-all, but with the delicious villains, mysteries and grisly deaths of a 19th-century penny dreadful. Plus, it’s beautifully told, with a keen sense of the era and its locals plaited deftly into the drama.’’

Meredith Grahl Counts, BUST magazine August/September 2014

 

Morgan Ribera at Bustle named it as one of August 2014's Best Books:

Michelle Lovric’s latest novel is a story all about hair — specifically long, cascading, floor-length hair. It stars the seven Harristown Sisters, all of whom have decadent heads of hair each in a different vivid shade. Impoverished, fatherless, and coming of age in the mid-1800s in a rural Ireland still suffering in the aftermath of the Great Famine, these seven sisters decide to use their flourishing follicles to change their luck, but with personalities as different as the color of their locks, their heads are bound to butt. 

Together they become a talented, traveling celebrity septet, singing, jigging, and flashing their gorgeous, Rapunzel-like gifts to the delight of international admirers. From the dancehalls of Ireland to the lavish stages of Venice, their act will send them on a rollercoaster of wealth and fame, but these sisters will have to overcome their own differences and jealousies too in order to defend themselves against exploitation and obsession.

Rich with historic detail and inspired by the true story, Lovric’s imaginative new novel is an enchanting read, filled with adventure alongside lessons about glory, loss, and deceit, about financial hardship, sibling rivalry, and the consequences of celebrity. “

Bustle.com

 

When Women Talks website named it as one of the seven best books published so far this year: “This is perfect for fans of historical fiction. Loosely based on a true story, it follows the lives of seven sisters with extraordinarily long hair, hair that leads them out of their poor existence in rural Ireland to the stage, riches and a palazzo in Venice. As well as being a great story, it also asks wider questions about female sexuality and experience, questions that are as relevant now as they were when this book was set.”

 

Mirella Patzer at The Historical Novel Review blogspot praised it:

‘It is a rags to riches to rags story that I found myself completely absorbed by. Each of the sisters was depicted with plenty of faults and qualities, which added to my interest in this fascinating tale. It is a roller coaster ride that takes the reader to joy, love, despair, and tragedy. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to book clubs as there is an avalanche of material that will lead to many a lively discussion. A lovely look into the odd and unusual lives of these fascinating women.’

Historical Novel Review blogspot September 3 2014

 

Combining magical realism, just a hint of fairy tale lore and the real emotions of a group of sisters coming of age, Michelle Lovric’s The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a delightful, if sometimes dark, tale of love, family and loyalties … … It’s a funny fairy tale, with hints of Rushdie’s magic peeking through a mainly realistic prose and nods to the legacy and legend of Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude …and, if nothing else, exemplifies the perfect way to mix fairy tales and lore with the harsh realities of a nation’s, family’s and culture’s truths.

Corduroy Books August 19th 2014

 

Lovric does a marvelous job emulating the rhythm and slang of the Irish language, making The Harristown Sisters raucous reading. What begins as plausible fiction moves through operatic highs and lows and a fair bit of magical realism (Darcy’s physicality begins to mirror her black soul) before the novel winds down. Seven sisters and a career spanning decades is a lot of territory to cover but with Lovric’s imaginative touches, The Harristown Sisters is a lively Irish tale.’

The Gilmore Guide to Books, September 12th 2014

 

Back in the United Kingdom, reviews are still coming too:

I want to mention the excellent descriptive writing in this book. Every time Manticory thinks of her childhood in Harristown, County Kildare, she remembers the ‘turf stoves, thin geese and slow crows’ until Harristown becomes almost a character in itself. Later in the book, the descriptions of Venice are particularly beautiful…

The palazzi and churches let their fretted stones hang down into our faces like beautiful, insistent ghosts. Beckoning lanterns hung at arched water-gates. Inside their houses, equisitely dressed Venetians displayed themselves in glowing tableaux so that each palace seemed to host a puppet theatre performing just for us. The city was mystical and barbaric all at once, a floating fortress so delicate that the fairies would hesitate to place the weight of their wings on it.

I also loved the images of the girls hanging their hair from the windows of the bell tower of San Vidal like seven Rapunzels and each of them standing in the bow of a gondola with her hair trailing into the boat behind. I could tell this book was written by someone who knows and loves Venice.”

Helen at She Reads Novels August 13th 2014

 

The Undrowned Child has received a lovely review as well:

A wonderfully surreal and at time subversive romp through a Victorian Venice awash with saucy-tongued mermaids, green poisonous icecream, malevolent seagulls and beetles, lurid pirates, shapeshifting cats and a hideous cannibalistic butcher, who carries his head under his arm in what could be a nod (pun intended) to Washington Irving. Teo is endearingly bookish, her friend Renzo is slight, scholarly and ultimately gallant, whilst the haughty, sometimes flirtatious mermaids are good fun. On a quest to stop the legendary historical traitor Bajamonte Tiepolo (try saying that when you’ve had a few ginger beers), Teo and Renzo hurry down the backstreets of a half-imaginary, half-real Venice, clutching a magical book that helps them at every turn. On the way they encounter mythical apothecaries stocking ‘Venetian Treacle’, plague-ridden children and sinister sculptures. All the while Bajamonte grows in strength, and threatens to have his bloody revenge on Venice once and for all…

All in all, I loved this book, and could hardly put it down! A rollicking, rambunctious read full of the salty tang of a Venice both real and wonderfully imagined. (And the mermaids are delightful.)

Overall rating: Whimsical, wonderful and at times highly inventive, Lovric has proven to me that she’s a writer to watch out for.

Eleanor Keane, The Breathing Ghosts, August 20th 2014

 

And How to Abuse, Insult & Insinuate in Classical Latin by Michelle Lovric and Nikiforos Doxiadis is highlighted at History of the Ancient World, which chooses the top ten insults from ancient Rome from it.

 

Venice News

There’s a really excellent video here about how Venice works backstage, explaining the construction of the city and the problems she faces now.

 

George Clooney married in Venice on September 27th and his chosen hotel for his reception party was the Aman, aka the Palazzo Papadopoli, the Venetian setting of The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.

 

A conference about water-cures in Venice is to be led by Nelli Elena Vanzan-Marchini.

 

Corso di Storia della Sanità 2014

VENEZIA E LA TALASSOTERAPIA

****

ATENEO VENETO Campo S. Fantin

lunedì 6 ottobre 2014 Aula Magna ore 17,30

introduce Erilde Terenzoni

Venezia e il termalismo europeo: una storia di bagni e di cure

conferenza con immagini

di Nelli Vanzan Marchini

 

WELLINGTON BOOKS, the English language bookshop in Venice, has just started a crowd-funding campaign.

Here is what they say:

‘The results of our (nearly) first year of activity are good and encouraging yet Italian bureaucracy is giving us some problems - we have been waiting for ages for special funds for young entrepreneurs which are still on their way…

For this reason we decided to start this campaign, just to be sure that we can strongly go on for another year even without the help of the Italian State. 

We are not expecting to become rich, whatever we collect will be invested in the shop, as many other small bookstores have already done around the world.

If you are already a client of Wellington BooKs or if you don't fancy donating or if you don't like these crowdfunding initiatives that's fine - we will be very grateful if you could just SHARE this thing with your friends.

Here is the link to the campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-wellington-books-venice-initiative

 

New writing

Michelle contributed to the History Girls blog on August 10th a list of murder weapons she has deployed in Venice

And on September 10th, she wrote about the ferocious patere that dot the walls of Venetian palaces, in a blog entitled What’s Biting Venice?

Her next post on the History Girls’ blog is October 10th.

She also contributed to Writers Read blog with a list of her recent reading and thoughts on it.

And she is preparing an interview with Society19 about The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters

 

October & November books

Sarah Salway, Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes, People and Poetry in the Garden of England
Donatella Calabi, Foreigners and the City: An Historiographical Exploration for the Early Modern Period
Walpole Gallery, The Settecento in Venice
A.F.L. Beeston, Arabic historical phraseology
Izkiwī, Sarḥān ibn Saʻīd.: Annals of Oman to 1728 / Sirhan ibn Sa'id ibn Sirhan; translated and annotated by E.C. Ross ; newly introduced by Philip Ward.
Ahmed Hamoud Maamiry, Omani-Portuguese history
Edward William Lane, Arabian society in the middle ages: studies from the Thousand and One Nights
Jennifer Heath, editor, The veil: women writers on its history, lore, and politics.
Jeremy Strong, editor, Educated tastes: food, drink, and connoisseur culture
Irwin Eyles, A series of adventures in the course of a voyage up the Red-Sea on the coasts of Arabia and Egypt : and of a route through the desarts of Thebais, in the year 1777 : with a supplement of a voyage from Venice to Latichea : and of a route through the desarts of Arabia, by Aleppo, Bagdad, and the Tygris to Busrah, in the years 1780 and 1781
Thorkild Hansen, Arabia Felix: the Danish expedition of 1761-1767
Shepherd, Gordon M, Neurogastronomy: how the brain creates flavor and why it matters
Celia Rothenberg, Spirits of Palestine: gender, society, and the stories of the jinn.
John G. Gager, editor, Curse tablets and binding spells from the ancient world
C.M. Woolgar, The senses in late medieval England
Ennio Concina, Fondaci : architettura, arte, e mercatura tra Levante, Venezia, e Alemagna








Harristown Sisters









Harristown Sisters








































Harristown Sisters








Harristown Sisters
 

August & September 2014

Book news

Reviews continue to come in for The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, including this one from Oprah.com in the USA, where it is published this month.

“How do seven impoverished, fatherless sisters from rural Ireland with only middling artistic talents rise to notoriety? Darcy, the leader of the tribe, bullies her sisters into taking to the dance halls of their famine-stricken hometown, with hopes of striking it big. At the end of each show, the girls turn their backs to the audience and let down their hair, which cascades, unfettered, to their ankles. They soon become a hit act. "Our hair had its roots inside us, but it was outside as well," says Manticory, the lone redheaded sister and our narrator. "In that slippage between our inner and outer selves—there lurked our seven scintillating destinies and all our troubles besides." The novel is loosely based on a true-life group of American sisters who leveraged their hair to fame and fortune, and is cleverly set during a period when the Pre-Raphaelite style signified romance and freedom. Each of the seven sisters—insult-spitting Darcy, sweet Edna, tender Oona, wicked Berenice, plain Pertilly, spirited Ida, keen-eyed Manticory—will experience heartbreak and violence, even as their stars rise. Read this for the story, which is wildly compelling, and also for the prose, as magnetic as the sisters themselves.”

National Geographic listed The Harristown Sisters at top of the Ultimate Summer TripLit Reading List for novels that ‘take you there’:“Hair! The Swiney siblings have a lot of it in this fascinatingly odd tale, inspired by real-life sisters who gain fame and fortune for their ankle-length tresses in famine-plagued, Pre-Raphaelite-era Ireland.”

Amy Alipio, National Geographic, July 14th 2014

More reviews for the UK edition:

“Vividly descriptive, it’s an extraordinary book …”

Choice Magazine, July 1st 2014

“The fifth novel from Michelle Lovric – writer of The Remedy – is lined with a penetrating melancholic beauty.”

The Western Daily Press, June 28th 2014

Sunday Times reviewer Nick Rennison felt that the book was at times over-written but concluded that it “has a swagger and style that make it an enjoyable read.”

The Sunday Times June 29th 2014

Meanwhile, The Independent on Sunday named The Harristown Sisters as one of the best books of the year, in an alternative Man Booker List. Literary editor Katy Guest put the novel in the category of

The Anne Enright award for the Irish novel most guaranteed to make you cry

Niall Williams wins this year's award on the strength of his title alone. History of the Rain (Bloomsbury) is described as a "rain-sodden history of 14 acres of the worst farming land in Ireland" but inevitably, given its author, it is suffused with warmth and humour.

As is The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, by Michelle Lovric (Bloomsbury), about seven Irish sisters in the mid-1800s, all of whom have extravagant, Pre-Raphaelite hair …”

The book was a Summer Holiday Pick for Annabel, one of the editors of Shiny New Books: “Michelle Lovric’s evocative prose weaves an addictive tale of unhinged sisters, celebrity, greed and, yes, hair in The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters

‘Lovric puts her battling and embattled Swiney sisters into smaller and smaller corners, turning their tale into a full blown tragedy before it's all over. The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a dark tale, full of betrayal and unscrupulousness and pure creepiness. But I had a fantastic time reading it. Lovric's characters are so well-developed. Her plot overturns so many narrative conventions that I read with my iPad plugged into the wall for a few hours because I was running out of juice and I couldn't bear to leave off while it charged. I had to know what happened next. This is a brilliant, challenging novel.’

Annie Smith at The Summer Reading Project

Michelle Lovric’s delightful novel, narrated by Manticory, follows the Swiney Godivas from Harristown to Dublin to Venice. I loved the descriptions of the Swiney Godivas’ shows, in which they re-enact fairy-tales, myths and biblical tales, form tableaux of famous works of art like Botticelli’s Venus and plunder the works of Dickens, Thackeray and even Shakespeare for ‘hairy’ scenes and heroines for ‘tribute’ acts. The theatrical scenes are spiced by the sisters’ animosity towards each other, the surreptitious pinching and shoving, the whispers of ‘brown bitch heifer’ through the staged smiles”

Helen Parry at Shiny New Books

Michelle Lovric was interviewed about the book by Sean Rocks for RTE’s Arena programme on July 1st and by Jenni Murray for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour on July 24th.

With Lucy Coats, Michelle Lovric will be teaching a Guardian Master class on How to Write for Children on September 20th. There are further sessions planned for October and November.

Saturday 20 September 2014
Click here to book

Wednesday 22 October 2014
Click here to book

Saturday 22 November 2014
Click here to book

 

New writing

Michelle posted an interview with Simon Chaplin about the Wellcome Trust’s extraordinary image library on the History Girls on July 10th.

Her next post on the History Girls will be August 10th.

Her article about Medusa Myths appeared on Bookanista on July 5th

 

August & September books

Karen Joy Fowler, We All Completely Beside Ourselves
Colum McCann, Transatlantic
Matthew Crow, In Bloom
Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project
Sally Green, Half Bad
Deborah Kay Davies, Reasons She Goes To the Woods
Andrei Makine, Human Love








Harristown Sisters
































Harristown Sisters at the gated garden

Harristown Sisters in the Gated Garden at London’s Borough Market






















Harristown Sisters by the celtic sea by Meredith Crosbie

photograph by Meredith Crosbie
















































Harristown Bridge

In Bruges
 

July 2014

Book news

Reviews have been coming in for The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, published on June 5th by Bloomsbury in the UK. The American edition will be published in August.

It was the lead fiction review in The Times on Saturday June 7th

“This is story to sweep you up and spin you about like a mad Irish jig. It swirls you away amid giddy torrents of language into a fantastical, sensual, yet villainously comic world …

Lovric relishes language. You almost taste the words that twist round your tongue and burst open on your lips. Here are slanging matches in which curses are pelted like fistfuls of slime. Here are eddies of adjectives. Here are descriptions to reinvigorate even the most mundane scenes.

Perhaps it is the rain forever scribbling on our roofs and our faces that teaches the Irish our unstinting verbosity,” says the auburn haired narrator Manticory. “ It’s what we have instead of food of luck. Think of it as a generosity of syllables, a wishful giving of words when we have nothing else to offer by way of hospitality: we lay great mouthfuls of language on you to round your bellies and comfort your thoughts like so many boileds and roasts.

… the dark Freudian undercurrents of the fairytale are updated to deal with contemporary themes, among them the objectification of women and the right to privacy. As the compulsive power of her narrative increasingly overcomes the plangent mazes of her description, the reader finally realises that they are in the irresistible hands of a storyteller who portrays not just her period but human nature too.”

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times, June 7th 2014


“Lovric’s tale is lush with delightful Irish rhythms and memorable characters.”

Kirkus June 5th 2014


“The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a book permeated by a malignant sadness. Lewis Wolpert coined the phrase in his 1999 book Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression. If not technically applicable, the phrase definitely captures the underlying mood of this novel. Joy and anything approaching happiness are only very sparsely, and sometimes perversely, peppered throughout the novel. The melancholic expression of the red-haired girl on the front cover should have given me a clue. Yet, not far from her face are those words ‘true and splendid’ — and thus the peculiar beauty of this novel is expressed: in her delineation of destitution, fame and death, Michelle Lovric writes a truly splendid novel.”

The Cover Co June 12 2014


“Michelle Lovric’s darkly lively vocabulary and fantastical storytelling makes me feel I could tumble down a rabbit hole into another, not entirely nice, world. The Harristown Sisters is the tale of seven Irish siblings, heart-breakingly poor but all with a gift valued by the Pre-Raphaelite age they live in: extraordinarily long flowing hair. And so they are whisked away into dubious society and dangerous fame. Just love her humour and magical flamboyance.”

Kerry Fowler, Sainsbury’s Magazine, July 2014


“Sometimes, all you want from a book is fabulous escapism, a rich and detailed plot, unusual and memorable characters, larger than life but oddly real, a bit of a saga, a bit of a fantasy, a dash of historical realism, an edge of melodramatic soap opera, all tied up with excellent writing and a cracking pace.

Look no further, friends!

I’ve found this season’s pacy but gothic, horrifying but enthralling, joyful and mournful, grubby, edifying, modern but ‘olden days’ read. Michelle Lovric, The award-winning writer of The Book  of Human Skin, has crafted something really beautiful and unusual in True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.”

UBS Review of Books June 17th 2014


“… if you aren't nail-chewing within moments of the deliciously elongated climax starting to build, you have no nails to start with.”

Ani Johnson, The Bookbag, June 6, 2014


“I was a Michelle Lovric fan from the moment I started reading ‘The Book of Human Skin’. Amazing book that lives with me still – years after I first read it! So when I saw this book, I had to read it.

Was I disappointed? Not at all. The Swiney Godivas are quite simply wonderful …”

S.J. Bradford’s Book Blog June 4th 2014


Image Magazine in Ireland chose The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters as its book of the month, describing it as “an addictively subversive page-turner.”

“Michelle Lovric’s The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters is a book which almost appropriates the adjective ‘fecund’ to itself by way of description, so much does its language teem with rich, sappy, loamy, fruitfulness, even to a glorious abandon of excess …

This is a Gothic, operatic book by virtue of the intensity of feeling and opulence, sumptuousness of language, the reaching of heights of ecstasy, the plummeting the darkness of jealousy, violence, betrayal and murder. But the whole is delivered with such vivacity, such joyousness and juicy humour and playfulness of language that it becomes a wild, frolicsome read, despite the savage undercurrents.

And lest the term ‘Gothic’ should fret potential readers who might fear the pages may romp with werewolves vampires zombies and such other silly company – fear not, the ‘Gothic’ relates to the architecture of the language, full of delicious crenellations and furbelows. There ARE monsters within these pages, and they are all of a very human kind, with no need for the agency of magic.”

Lady Fancifull June 6 2014


“My book of the year to date. It took my breath away ….”

Fleur in her World, June 10 2014


The book’s rollicking, earthy voice evokes 19th-century Ireland with gusto, and Lovric brings the sisters and their tangled relationships to life as they come full circle to confront the poverty and losses from their past.”

Publishers Weekly, USA, June 10 2014


From the very beginning Lovric’s use of language is as colourful as her story; her descriptions of Venice and its palazzos are particularly lovely. Manticory’s voice is vibrant, intelligent, endearing and, at times, very funny … It’s a thoroughly entertaining tale in which love, lust, tragedy, comedy and revenge all play their part, and it ends very satisfyingly.

A Life in Books, June 22nd 2014


In Harper’s Bazaar July issue, Sam Baker named The Harristown Sisters as one of her top ten reads for the summer:

“An admission: I adored Michele Lovric’s macabre, Orange long-listed The Book of Human Skin. A second admission, I have a lot of red hair. These two things combined, I was always going to love The Harristown Sisters - singing, dancing septuplets who social-climb their way from poverty-stricken Dublin to Pre-Raphaelite Venice on the back of their auburn locks. But, as with the fairytale spirit Lovric so successfully conjures, nothing comes without a price.”


There’s a string of interesting reviews on Goodreads too.

 

New writing

Michelle Lovric has posted a blog about a research trip to Ireland on The History Girls on June 10th (following her interview on the same site with Mary Hoffman)

Her next blog for The History Girls will be July 10th.

She posted on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on June 11th about being caught in flagrante by an eminent publisher

Her piece on five literary landmarks in Venice was published on Wanderlust June 14th. These included the newly reopened medical museum at SS Giovanni e Paolo and the home of Pietro Aretino.

And her interview with Pam Johnson on Words Unlimited on June 16th discussed the ways in which she researches, organises and structures her work, certain regrets about giving up her work as a packager of designed books and the way in which she writes some novel scenes as poetry before smoothing them into prose.

On Electric Sheep, Michelle Lovric posted on why she identifies with a philistine, impotent, Irish child-killer from the movie In Bruges.

Bookanista will feature an article she has written about hair and sex in the nineteenth century

Bookings are now open for the September 20th Guardian Masterclass on How to Write for Children with Lucy Coats and Michelle Lovric.

 

July books

Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players
Sophie Hannah, The Carrier
Jan Morris, Sultan in Oman
Simon Rich, The Last Girlfriend on Earth
Hilda Sheehan, The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood
Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation
Bela Grunberger, New Essays on Narcissism
Nina W. Brown, The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern
Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
Zari Ballard, When Love Is a Lie: Narcissistic Partners & the Pathological Relationship Agenda
John S. Ogrodniczuk Understanding and Treating Pathological Narcissism








Harristown Sisters










You magazine








Deidre Kelly Wonder Atlas

The Undrowned Child

 

June 2014

Book news

The True & Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters is published on June 5th by Bloomsbury in the UK. It comes out in August with Bloomsbury in the USA.

The publishers have created a wonderful Pinterest board about long hair and literature, to celebrate publication.

Some advance reviews

This is the riotous and true (!) tale of seven 19th-century sisters, who, with their help of their luscious long red locks, rose out of poverty in rural Ireland to become famous performers. Hooked from page one!

Company, June 2014

Lovric takes a little known piece of history and breathes it into full and colorful life. Impossible to put down.

Cayocosta72

 

New writing

On the History Girls, May 10th, Michelle Lovric posted a personal essay about Julia Pastrana, the woman with hair where hair should not be, and consequently one of the most celebrated freaks of the hair-obsessed Victorian age.

Author and wine-journalist Patricia Guy has hosted a photo-essay by her dog Stanley about accompanying Michelle Lovric on a writerly walk around Venice.

On May 25th, You Magazine, in The Mail on Sunday, published a feature by Michelle Lovric on the phenomenon of the Seven Sutherland Sisters, who took America by storm with their 37 feet of hair and their million-selling hair products. The Sutherlands are the inspiration behind The Harristown Sisters.

Michelle’s next History Girls post will be on June 10th. She will be writing about a shockingly poignant research trip to Ireland to hunt down a habitat for the Swiney Godivas, the singing and dancing siblings who are the protagonists of The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.

She is interviewed by Mary Hoffman for the History Girls site on June 1.

Big Blog

She’ll also be guest blogging on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on June 11th, about the embarrassment of being caught in flagrante delicto by an eminent publisher in a Venetian palazzo. ABBA was recently named number 2 in the top 10 list of literary blogs.

The June diary for English Writers in Italy is an essay by Michelle Lovric on a piece of floating history in Venice.

She has written a piece on Five Literary Landmarks in Venice for Wanderlust, to be published on June 7th

Meanwhile the excellent Venetian blogger Erla Zwingle has recorded the passing of Signor Baiamonte Tiepolo. His long-ago ancestor is the villain of Michelle Lovric’s first two books for children, The Undrowned Child and The Mourning Emporium.

 

June books

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Alessandro Marzo Magno, Bound in Venice
Edward St Aubyn, Lost for Words
Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
Ann Weisgarber, The Promise
Liane Moriarty, The Husband’s Secret











Harristown Sisters




























The Undrowned Child

City Runner by Deidre Kelly

Deidre Kelly Wonder Atlas





















Venice Preserved











The Heroes' Welcome

 

May 2014

 

Book news

The Goodreads website has the first full review of The Harristown Sisters.

Here is an extract:

This book is a delight from page one. And nothing has ever made me want to visit Ireland so much as this book did. That's not a burn against Ireland. But there was such a vividness of description, that smell, language, dialect, culture, history, legend, lore leaped off the page at me. The story of seven sisters, their abundance of hair, and the trials and tribulations that come as a result of this could have been the stuff of fluffy lightweight melodrama.

But I do not exaggerate when I say that nothing I have read in contemporaneous fiction, comes as close to resembling a Bronte novel as this one does. I'm not going to say which Bronte as we all have our favourites and dislikes and I'm not planning on prejudicing you one way or the other. The fact that there were seven sisters alone who formed the core of the novel's characters presents challenges in differentiation, but each sister was such a personality and had such a unique voice.

I was constantly on the verge of weeping at how beautiful a grasp of language Michelle Lovric has. This book could have been written in the 19th century. Every sentence and paragraph feels carefully thought through but not at the expense of pushing the narrative forward. Turns of phrase stopped me in my tracks and had to be re-read. This isn't a case of style over substance. There is a complete harmony at work here. … If you're someone like me who laments that they don't write them like they used to, do yourself a favour and read this book.

Review by Anton, April 4th 2014

 

Essie Fox has published a review of The Book of Human Skin on her blog about writing.

I adore Michelle Lovric's writing style which is magical, flamboyant and entirely assured. Her YA novels are also a delight - if only we'd had them when I was a child! However The Book of Human Skin is decidedly not a children's read. It is fiercely dark and subversive, though not without great humour. 

The central story is that of a Marcella, a young girl who is locked away in a convent when her brother, Minguillo (mesmerising and charismatic, but horribly evil too) begins his narration with the words 'This is going to be a little uncomfortable'. Indeed it is! And Marcella's suffering at his hands is narrated from the extravagant viewpoint of no less than five individuals who (apart from creating a sense of awe that any writer could pull that off) knit together a complex scheme of events that lead to a thrilling conclusion.

I particularly enjoyed this novel because the quite sinister convent scenes are set in Santa Catalina, in the Peruvian city of Arequipa, a convent which I have also toured, and found it to be an inspiring place with a melancholy, haunting air. I always thought I would like to set a novel of my own in that place. But having read Michelle's Lovric's work I couldn't even begin to compete. Delightful, horrific and riotous. A truly entertaining read.

(And while we are on the subject, should you enjoy this novel, Michelle Lovric's The Remedy is another based upon the convent theme.)

Review by Essie Fox, DO YOU DO THE WRITE THING? blog, April 1st 2014.

Essie’s atmospheric and lush Victorian novels, The Somnabulist, Elijah’s Mermaid and The Goddess and the Thief are published by Orion. She blogs as The Virtual Victorian, and her clever website is here.

 

Darren Hartwell at BOOKZONE (FOR BOYS) has written a heartfelt blog about the current media furore about gendering of the children’s book market. He cited Teo Gasperin, female protagonist of The Undrowned Child, as a character who could appeal to both boy and girl readers:

Michelle Lovric is not only one of my all time favourite writers of Middle Grade fantasy, she also writes fantastic female protagonists. Teo in The Undrowned Child, and its sequel The Mourning Emporium, is up there with Alice in my mind, but Talina (Talina in the Tower) and Amneris and Biri (The Fate in the Box) are almost as great.

 

Diary

Exhibition in Venice:

DÉIRDRE KELLY

‘NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION’

22 May - 14 June 2014

 

Opening: 22 May 2014, 6-8pm

Impossible landscapes, routes and directions emerge from Deirdre Kelly’s 'altered' maps which are certainly ‘not to be used for navigation’.

Maps are tools that provide the means by which we both organize and locate ourselves within a continually changing world. Déirdre Kelly manipulates cartography to create her own personalised maps. Standing before these map collages, the viewer is both ‘found’ and ‘displaced’ in relation to pictorial worlds, as the overarching spatial rules collide with the particulars represented.

From palimpsest to hypertext: artists have literally and conceptually been ‘mapping’ the world, looking at the familiar in different ways, as new technologies have replaced the magical world of wonder encapsulated in hand-drawn maps and atlases of the past.

‘My map is my mirror’, Déirdre Kelly describes her infinite map, reminding us of the human need and a desire for physical maps, now more than ever.

 

Déirdre Kelly, born in London, lives and works in Venice, Italy.

Kelly has been exhibiting since 1985, her works can be found in many private and public collections including: Museum of Modern Art Library, New York; Tate Gallery Library, London; Reuters Ltd and Sedgewick Group International. www.deirdrekelly.net

 

Scuola Internazionale di Grafica
Cannaregio 1798, Venezia 30121
+39-041-721-950 • fax +39-041-524-2374

info@scuolagrafica.it
http://www.scuolagrafica.it

 

An unusual production of Thomas Otway’s classic Restoration play, Venice Preserv’d, is to be performed by the Spectators’ Guild in Greenwich this Spring.

See details here:

http://thespectatorsguild.org/
http://www.venicepreservd.co.uk/

 

New writing

Michelle posted her second essay about Venice on the eve of World War One on The History Girls, April 10th

She will be writing the June diary piece for English Writers in Italy and a posting for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure on June 11th.

Her next History Girls blog will on May 10th.

 

May books

Elizabeth Hand, Mortal Love
Phyllis Grosskurth, ed, The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds
Derek Humphry, Final Exit
C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington, The History of Underclothes
Alison Luchs, ed, Tullio Lombardo and Venetian High Renaissance Sculpture
Peace, Psychopath Free
A.B. Admin, Psychopaths and Love
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

Louisa Young, The Heroes’ Welcome, the sequel to the History Girl’s acclaimed best-seller My Dear I wanted to Tell You, and just as sensitive, moving and beautifully written.

 

 






Harristown Sisters

Harristown Sisters

 

April 2014

 

Book news

In an early review of the American edition of The True & Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters. Karen Frank writes:

If the Swiney sisters were with us today they would be the stars of a reality show which would blow the Kardashians out of the water. Lovric bases her novel on an actual American sister act and resets the events in post famine Ireland. From starvation to world acclaim these sisters use their amazingly long and luxurious hair to rise to the heights as an entertainment sensation while falling victim to an unscrupulous 19th century marketing scheme. Alternately dark and delightful the story is a Gothic feast with plenty of meat.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, has written: 'Michelle Lovric is devilishly clever, fiendishly comic and generally just an irresistible novelist. I delighted in every page.' 

 

An extra date has been added to the Guardian Masterclasses How to Write for Children, which Michelle Lovric teaches with Lucy Coats. The following dates are now confirmed:

April 5th

May 7th

May 31st

To book, contact the Guardian

 

New writing

In her art of writing blog, Lisa Clifford interviewed Michelle Lovric about how food can be used in plot and character development. The interview can be seen here.

Michelle posted a piece on Venice on the eve of World War One The History Girls blog on March 10th.

She will continue that essay in her History Girls blog on April 10th.

 

April books

Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling
Drew Keys, Narcissists Exposed
Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands
Brian Dillon, Tormented Hope

 

 



Harristown Sisters



















Deidre Kelly Wonder Atlas
 

March 2014

Goodreads has a giveaway offer for The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, to be published on June 5th, by Bloomsbury.

 

New writing

Michelle posted a piece on The History Girls on February 10th about a letter of passage for two milk-fed zebras. Her next History Girls blog will be on March 10th.

A new course on food-writing in Tuscany

Taste Every Word

 

Venice News

Venetian collage artist Deirdre Kelly features in a new exhibition in London

GLUE

Contemporary Collage & Photomontage


CHART gallery, 62 Old Church Street, London SW3 6DP 
Open Wed to Sat: 12 - 6pm; Sun: 12 - 4pm / 020 7323 1109

SHOW CONTINUES TO SUNDAY 9 MARCH
rsvp: info@chartgallery.co.uk    www.chartgallery.co.uk

 

March books

Kate Atkinson, Life after Life
Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall
Erik Larson, The Devil in White City
Edizioni Kina, Syracuse City of Art and Ancient History

 

 







 

February 2014

Michelle posted a blog about the Feast of the Epiphany in Venice on the History Girls website on January 10th.

Her next posting there will be on February 10th.

 

February books

Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
Mira Crouch, Almost Home, a memoir of migration
Jonathan Roper, ed, Charms, Charmers and Charming
Arthur L. Stinchcombe, Sugar Island Slavery in the Age of Enlightenment.
Laurence Alma Tadema, The Crucifix, a Venetian Phantasy
James Endell Tyler, Oaths; their origin, nature and history
F.O. Shyllon, Black Slaves in Britain
Eleanor Farjeon, The Fair Venetian
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, History of My Life, Vol 1
Michael Hulse, Half-life
Elisabetta Caminer Turra, Selected Writings of an Eighteenth-Century Venetian Woman of Letters






Harristown Sisters

Lucy Coates

Canaletto
 

January 2014

A welcome to the Harristown Sisters …

WE LOVE THIS BOOK asked ten of its favourite bloggers to nominate the books they are most eagerly anticipating in 2014.

Fleur Fisher chose The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, saying, “I have loved Michelle Lovric’s dark, rich, historical novels, and, after travelling to Venice and to Latin America with her, I am so excited to discover the stories she will tell and the pictures she will paint of 19th-century Ireland, in the wonderfully titled The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters.”

Fleur Fisher from Fleur in her World. Follow Jane on Twitter @fleurinherworld



The first three Guardian Masterclasses on Writing for Children, taught by Lucy Coats and Michelle Lovric, have sold out and so new dates are planned for April and May 2014, with a whole weekend in February:

http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/children-s-writing-and-publishing-weekend-nosy-crow-lucy-coats-writing-course

Lucy Coats blogged about the teaching experience on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.



New writing

Michelle posted a blog about seeing a Canaletto painting from a unique perspective for the History Girls, December 10th, 2013.

Her next History Girls blog is scheduled for January 10th.



Venice News

English Pantomime in Venice
JACK & THE BEANSTALK
With extravagant costumes, great music, and audience participation, it's great fun for both kids and adults, whether one speaks English well or not!
Free to the public!
Donations will be collected at the end of the performances to benefit the non-profit organisation La Gabbianella, which is dedicated to providing the warmth of a family to the young children living with their mothers in the female prison on the Giudecca island in Venice.
Teatro a L'Avogaria
Dorsoduro 1617, Calle Lunga San Barnaba
Thursday, January 16 at 7:30 pm
Friday, January 17 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 18 at 3:30 pm
Bookings are obligatory
Seating is limited
To book, please email pantoinfo@gmail.com with the date and time of the performance, and the number of seats requested. A confirmation email will sent to you. Or, telephone us at 348 5150212.
To keep up-to-date on Pantomime news go to Facebook “Panto Venezia“, follow us on Twitter at “Panto Venice“.



January books

Tiziano Scarpa, Laguna l’invidiosa
Peter Hoeg The Elephant Keepers’ Children
Lucy Inglis, Georgian London, Into the Streets











Venezia Città di Lettori



Crocodiles of Venice

Tales on Moon Lane
 

December 2013

Please note that the January news will be posted a few days later than usual.

Apologies to Tracey Robertson for rendering her speechless, but also thanks for an interesting review of The Book of Human Skin on The Book and Booze Club website:
It begins:  "This is going to be a little uncomfortable".  
One hundred and thirty-seven pages in and it is screwing up my real life.  Darn that hideous, hazy state when life drags you from a disturbing read and places you in the company of others feeling disconnected and tongue tied.
This book might actually be rendering me speechless.
I must finish reading it so that I might, once again, function in life like a normal  (relatively), fully engaged (partially) human being.

 

New writing

Michelle was planning a post about her experience of filming with Michael Portillo on one of his Great Railway Journeys on History Girls website for November 10th but computer problems meant she missed her slot. (Instead, there is an excellent post by Elizabeth Laird about literary travellers).

Her next History Girls blog will be on December 10th.

Her essay (in Italian) on using Baiamonte Tiepolo as a villain in her children’s books has been published in La congiura imperfetta di Baiamonte Tiepolo, edited by Nelli-Elena Vanzan Marchini. The book records the proceedings of two conferences held in 2010 to mark the 700th anniversary of the failed conspiracy to murder Doge Pietro Gradenigo and set up a new government in Venice.

 

Venice News

The Venezia Città di Lettori campaign to save the bookshops of La Serenissima has continued with a new initiative on November 30th.

Well-known Venetian authors served as booksellers for a day in the city’s surviving bookshops:
gruppo Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/480626258677072/ 

Cafoscarina Michela Scibilia [mattino], Alberto Fiorin [pomeriggio]
Don Chisciotte Fabio Amadi [mattino], Marco Crestani [pomeriggio]
Giunti Sant’Aponal Davide Busato [mattino], Michela Scibilia [pomeriggio]
Giunti Strada Nova Andrea Molesini [mattino], Davide Busato [pomeriggio]
Marco Polo Tiziano Scarpa [10–11], Fulvio Ervas [11–13], Anna Toscano [pomeriggio]
Mare di Carta Cristiano Dorigo [mattino], Paolo Ganz [pomeriggio]
Miracoli Marco Crestani [mattino], Paola Zoffoli [pomeriggio]
Punto Einaudi Tiziano Scarpa [11.30–13], Tiziana Plebani [pomeriggio]
Studium Alessandro Marzo Magno [mattino], Cristina Gregorin [pomeriggio]
Toletta Paola Zoffoli [mattino], Alberto Toso Fei [pomeriggio]
Ulisse & Co Alberto Fiorin [mattino], Elisabetta Tiveron [pomeriggio] 
Wellington BooKs Robin Saikia [mattino], Carla Toffolo [pomeriggio]

In a strange echo of the events of Michelle Lovric’s novel, The Fate in the Box, a new happening has been taking place in Venice since November 6th. Spot the similarities in the cover of The Fate in the Box, and the promotional poster for Crocodiles of Venice on the left.

The show takes place every Wednesday evening from 6pm at F30, one minute from Piazzale Roma and a few feet from the Calatrava Bridge.
http://www.veneziatoday.it/eventi/discoteche/crocodiles-venice-f30.html
http://www.facebook.com/pages/VeneziaToday/252463908142196
A taste of the show can be seen in this video on Youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaA-jDG69mo

 

December books

Booklovers will be delighted to hear that Tales on Moon Lane has reopened looking more beautiful than ever, after the flood that closed the bookshop in the summer.
Jacob Tomsky, Heads on Beds
Colm Toibin, Testament of Mary
Helen Dunmore, The Love of Fat Men
Ned Beauman, Boxer Beetle
Ed Sean Lawlor and John Pilling, The Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett

 





Michael Portillo
 

November 2013

Michelle Lovric is interviewed by Michael Portillo in the Great Continental Railway Journeys episode on BBC2 at 8pm on November 3rd.

 

Venice News

The 2014 Venice Pantomime, entitled Jack and the Beanstalk (Jack e i Fagioli Magici) will be held at the Teatro a L'Avogaria January 16, 17 and 18. Bookings will be taking bookings for seats in December and January.

Conference on the Lazzaretto Vecchio and the Ospedale Civile in Venice

Le conferenze-dibattito si terranno all'Ateneo Veneto:

il 22 ottobre alle ore 17,30 con Nelli Vanzan Marchini,Gaetano Thiene dell'Università degli Studi di Padoca, Girolamo Fazzini responsabile del Lazzaretto Novo : La storia e il futuro del Lazzaretto Vecchio,

il 29 ottobre alle 17,30 Il patrimonio storico dell'Ospedale Civile nella Scuola Grande di San Marco, relatrice Nelli Vanzan Marchini, sono invitati al dibattito Giuseppe Dal Ben Direttore dell'USSL 12 veneziana, le soprintendenti Lorena Dal Poz, Giovanna Damiani, Erilde Terenzoni.

il 5 novembre parteciperanno alla tavola rotonda su I patrimoni della sanità veneziana, progettualità europea e modelli di sviluppo compatibile

Alberto D'Alessandro (Consiglio d'Europa, Venice Office), Fausta Bressani (Direzione dei Beni Culturali della Regione del Veneto), Umberto Marcello del Majno (Comitati Internazionali dei privati), Vincenzo Tiné (Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici del Veneto), Erminia Sciacchitano (referente MiBact per la cooperazione con il Consiglio d’Europa)

 

New writing

Michelle contributed some thoughts on drowning to the History Girls blog on October 10th. Her next post on that blog is on November 10th.

 

November books

Beatrice Hitchman, Petit Mort

Ines Bielski Lagazzi, Saint Lucy

Alessandro Marzo Magno, Bound in Venice, The Serene Republic and the Dawn of the Book

 

 






Harristown Sisters
 

October 2013

 

Michelle Lovric’s next book for adults, The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, will be published by Bloomsbury in June 2014 in the UK and in August in the USA.

The Fate in the Box is one of eight shortlisted titles for the Hillingdon Primary School Book of the Year Award 2014.

Two poems by Michelle have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Her poem about a London rat visiting Venice has just been published in Projects Inspired by Poetry and Art by Céline George and Rebecca Bruce.

 

New writing

Michelle posted about a march through Venice’s past on The History Girls website on August 10th

Her next History Girls blog will be on October 10th.

 

 

October books

Davide Busato, Serial Killers of Venice

Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon

Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Wendy French and Jane Kirwan, Born in the NHS

Roddy Doyle, Greyhound of a Girl

Frank Schatzing, Death and the Devil

 

 

 





 

August & September 2013

Welcome to the Birdcage describes The Book of Human Skin as ‘a wonderful slice of fiction … If you're a fan of any Gothic Literature, the works and writing of Anne Rice or shows like Hannibal, Game of Thrones or The Borgias on HBO etc I would recommend this book for you. This dazzlingly dark novel will certainly prove an interesting read as it turns one of the most beautiful cities in Europe into a much grimmer place. The story is shocking and amusing in all the right measures. Don't read this book if you have a queasy/weak stomach.’

Darren Hartwell at Bookzone4Boys has posted a heartwarming review of The Fate in the Box: ‘With this, her fourth book, surely it is time that Michelle is lauded by all as one of the current greats, along with the likes of David Almond, John Boyne, and even Neil Gaiman. I certainly enjoyed this a lot more than I did The Ocean at the End of the Lane.’ He adds: ‘Somewhere I have a much used book mark that bears a quote by the great Mark Twain. I think it goes something like: "My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Fortunately everybody drinks water". Yes, I drink a lot of water, but every now and again I like to partake of a fine wine, and Michelle Lovric's books are among the finest of fine wines available.

And Cheryl Pasquier has also reviewed the Fate in the Box here at Madhouse Family Reviews. She’s picked up on the underlying message that we should not rely on machines and technology so much.

 

Events and appearances

Michelle Lovric will be teaching a Guardian Masterclass in children’s writing with Lucy Coats on September 7th. The course is sold out but there are further sessions planned for October and November.

She will also appear at the Festival of Book Clubs at Lord Wandsworth College on September 11th.

Lord Wandsworth College
Long Sutton
Hook
Hampshire RG29 1TB

 

New writing

Michelle posted a blog about a new mascot for Venice on the History Girls on July 10th.

On August 10th, she posted on gifts to the water, historical and present. Her next post on the History Girls will be September 10th.

 

August books

Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
Mary Roach, Stiff
Joan Carroll Cruz, Relics
Louise Levene, A Vision of Loveliness
Paula Martinac, Chicken
James Bentley, Restless Bones
Nicholson Baker, A Box of Matches
Kevin Fong, Extremes
Kathleen Walker-Meikle, Mediaeval Pets
Rob Lloyd Jones, Wild Boy
Penelope Lively, According to Mark
   

 

July 2013

 

New writing

Michelle posted a blog about blue glass seahorses, hair sandwiches and veiled statues on The History Girls on June 10th.

Her next blog for The History Girls will be July 10th.

She writes about beautification and laziness in an interview with Beth Kemp at Thoughts by the Hearthfire.

 

Venice news

Many of Venice’s grave problems have possible solutions, but no robust attempt has been made to apply them.  Anna Somers Cocks has written a sobering account of the city’s governance for the New York Review of Books.

 

July Books

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
Andrea Ashworth, Once in a House on Fire
John Julius Norwich, The Paradise of Cities
Augustus Hare and St Claire Baddeley, Venice
Joseph Pohle, Mariology
John Eglin, Venice Transfigured
Vernon Lee, The Enchanted Woods
Federico Barbierato, The Inquisitor in the Hat Shop
Alison Luchs, The Mermaids of Venice
H. Chick (ed), A Chronicle of the Carmelites in Persia
Andrew Jotischky, The Carmelites and Antiquity
Various, San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice

























Artwork by Agnes Treherne
 

 

June 2013

The Fate in the Box, published May 2nd, has been receiving reviews.

Elizabeth Murray at Inis, the magazine for Children’s Books Ireland, says, ‘Lovric uses a unique and charismatic approach to standard themes such as good vs evil, right vs wrong, selfishness vs the greater good and the right to redemption and revenge. Overall, The Fate in the Box delivers a gripping blend of nail-biting adventure, brain-tingling mystery and laugh-out-loud slapstick – with a rewarding ending, guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats.’
Read the whole review here

Vincent Ripley at Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books writes, ‘There is so much going on in this story that you are never quite sure what’s coming around the corner. It could be amazingly written dialogue one minute quickly followed by humour and laughs the next. With a combination of suspense, mystery, horror and mayhem this story really does have the lot. It is a truly creative and, in my opinion, a one of a kind reading experience.’
Read the whole review here

Sarah Taylor at Bookbabblers read the whole book in two sittings.
Read her review here

Sue Purkiss on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure warns that ‘The Fate in the Box is not for the faint-hearted … But the way the story is told is so affirmative that, even as you seriously consider taking shelter behind the sofa, you know that ultimately good – and the children – will triumph. I’d recommend this to boys and girls who enjoy adventure, humour, fantasy, and a good story phenomenally well told.’
Read the whole review here

Meanwhile Bookwitch warns readers that they also risk getting an education …

Beth Kemp at Thoughts from the Hearthfire says that The Fate in the Box has ‘all the characteristics of the best-loved children’s stories, including larger-than-life characters alongside believable child heroes, magic and mystery and clear lines between good and evil.’
Read the whole review here

Sam Hawksmoor at Hackwriters has worked out the connections: There is great evil and paranoia in this Italian adventure and much fun to be had in what is really a kind of distant prequel to the wonderful Undrowned Child by Ms Lovric. The conclusion: A complex delight with vivid writing that brings old Venice to life in a way that only Michelle Lovric can do. Are there any mermaids you ask? – Can there just be only one shrivelled specimen in the Museum of Natural History?  Read on if you dare.  You will not be disappointed.'
Read the whole review here

And The Fate in the Box’s salty-tongued curry-gobbling mermaids are also mentioned in this lovely review for The Undrowned Child.

Barrie Kerper at The Collected Traveller Blog has written a long post about Michelle Lovric’s writing for children and adults, and the bookshop campaign in Venice. She says, ‘even though I find and enjoy lots of fiction related to the places I’m going, it’s rare to find an author who is as completely smitten with the place as I am, someone who has delved into a place’s history and current affairs and makes it his or her business to really make readers feel they are right there. Michelle Lovric is one of these authors, and Venice is her specialty. She adds, ‘I put Lovric’s fictional writing about Venice in the same category as Alan Furst’s writing about Paris, Sarah Dunant’s writing about Renaissance Florence, Lawrence Durrell’s writing about Alexandria, and Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz writing about Fra Filippo Lippi in their book The Miracles of Prato.’
Read the full piece and the interview here

Meanwhile The Mourning Emporium receives a lovely accolade from Mary Hooper writing for the Guardian. She picked it out as one of her favourite historical reads, saying,The story had me on the edge of my seat: it’s a sparkling, whirling mass of a book, different from any other historical fiction you’ll read.’
See all Mary Hooper’s other choices and read about her own new novel The Disgrace of Kitty Grey here.

The first ever electronic editions of Michelle’s earlier three novels for adults are published on June 3rd by Bloomsbury. They are
Carnevale  
The Floating Book

and

The Remedy

The books will be reissued in paperback, with new covers, to coincide with the publication of the new adult novel, The Swiney Godivas, in 2014.

 

New writing

Michelle has written a poem about a young London rat who travels to Venice and ends up romantically entangled in more ways than one. It is included in Projects Inspired by Poetry and Art by Celine George and Rebecca Bruce, to be published in September 2013 by HarperCollins. The poem has been beautifully illustrated by Agnes Treherne.

Michelle will be the guest speaker at a Guardian masterclass on How to Write For Children led by Lucy Coats. The course takes place on September 7th 2013. Details and booking information here.

Michelle posted a piece on The History Girls on May 1oth about exploring the extraordinary bell-tower of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice.

She wrote about what has happened to all the Canaletto paintings in Venice for Mary Hoffman at Book Maven

… and about creating bookshop window displays for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure

She revealed some Swedish affinities and strange truths about herself in an interview with Bookwitch

… and chatted to Teresa Majury at Lovely Treez Reads about all things Irish and Italian, and about the vulnerability of writers young and old

With Sarah Taylor at Bookbabblers, she talked about writing the eighteenth century and the ‘pulchroactivity’ of Venice

Michelle’s next History Girls post will be on June 10th.

June books

Charles L. Graves, Ed, Humours of Irish Life
Algernon Bastard, The Gourmet’s Guide to Europe, 1903
Moris Farhi, Songs from Two Continents
Natasha Solomons, The Novel in the ViolaKatie Fforde, Living Dangerously
Günter Grass, Poems of Günter Grass
J.O. Choules (ed), Young Americans Abroad Vacation in Europe: Travels in England, France, 
Holland, Belgium, Prussia and Switzerland, 1852
Hunter Davies, The Grand Tour
George. H. Heffner, The Youthful Wanderer, 1876
(extract: As I was very much disappointed with Venice, 
I shall not occupy much time in describing this daughter of the sea. 
The railway bridge which leads to this city is about two miles long. 
I expected that a city whose streets are canals and whose carriages 
are all boats, would present a very unique appearance, but when I 
once saw them, they were so exactly what I had anticipated, that I 
felt disgusted and left the city without doing justice even to the vast 
collection of paintings in the Ducal Palace.’

 

 







 

 


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