ERIN MORGENSTERN Transcendent Magic Realism

Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women Writers, has written a new post for her blog “The Blog of Awesome Women”.

© 2011 Larry D. Moore

ERIN MORGENSTERN transcendent magic realism

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus (2011) and The Starless Sea (2019). After growing up in Massachusetts, she studied theater and studio arts at Smith College. Morgenstern’s debut novel began as a National Novel Writing Month project; NaNoWriMo is an annual online challenge which any writer may take up to write 50,000 words during the month of November. She cites Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and both the book and film adaptation of The Prestige by Christopher Priest, as well as Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, as having influenced The Night Circus. It also borrows from classics and children’s literature, including works by authors ranging from Shakespeare and Dickens to Roald Dahl, Edward Gorey, and Neil Gaiman. After finishing her first novel, she sent out query letters and sample pages as per agency guidelines; ultimately, she did find an agent to help her publish it. It was rewritten three times and was eventually published by Penguin Random House. Of The Starless Sea, her sophomore effort, she says, “It’s about stories, and storytelling, and fate, and time, and video games. There is a lot of snow in it. And also bees.”

In addition to art and writing, Morgenstern is a practitioner of Tarot reading. She published The Phantomwise Tarot, a series of paintings based on the Major Arcana, though only in a very limited printing. Her personal favorite deck is The Wild Unknown. Astrology is another favorite divinatory pursuit. She herself is a Cancer with a Leo Moon and Taurus ascendant. She resides in the Berkshires with her husband and their feline companion.

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