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Emma Healey Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Elizabeth Is Missing (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whistle in the Dark (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Can'tLit: Fearless Fiction from Broken Pencil Magazine(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Emma Healey is a British novelist born in 1985. Her Debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing, earned her World Wide Fame, garnering the praise of readers and professional reviewers from all corners of the literary arena.


Emma Healey is a British Born novelist. Most people agree that she is quite the unique author, not only because of the subject matter of her first book but the fact that her first degree was in Bookbinding.

Most people cannot begin to fathom the concept of studying bookbinding as an art or skill of some sort, but Emma Healey must have seen some benefit from it because she pursued it.

While her Bookbinding certification comes up more often than she might like, Emma is quick to remind people that she actually graduated with a BA in Book Arts and Crafts from the London College of Communication.

And if that wasn’t enough, she also acquired an MA in creative writing (Prose Fiction) from the University of East Anglia, so she has quite the background in art.

It is worth noting, though, that writing didn’t come naturally to Emma Healey. In fact, formal writing, in particular, was torture for her. Essays in school presented a specific challenge, and she has been heard describing article writing as a form of torture.

She gravitated towards novels because they allowed her to represent things, while article writing and its ilk were primarily tasks purposed towards explaining. She has admitted that her bookbinding skills have never served her in any way that matters.

In fact, she was never good at the skill, to begin with, and doesn’t understand why her publicist keeps leading with that aspect of her life. No doubt, it is quite the curious tidbit for anyone that doesn’t quite know what to make of Emma Healey.

+Literary Career.

Emma Healey’s story sounds like it jumped right out of a fairytale. She is one of those rare authors who caught lightening in a bottle with her very first novel, striking success at a much faster rate that she could have possibly expected.

Emma’s first degree didn’t immediately lead her into writing. Rather, she worked in a bookshop and then for a bunch of art galleries in London. Writing is something she did in her spare time, especially in the evenings and on the weekends.

Because she was an only child, it isn’t that surprising to learn that she read a lot. Emma’s father, a former journalist and public relations executive, left her mother after learning about her pregnancy. They had been dating for five years at the time.

At one point in his life, her father was the editor of a romance magazine; Emma is aware of the work he did, producing terrible short romance stories; whether or not his efforts as a writer drove Emma to pursue writing in any way is a curious consideration.

The idea for Elizabeth is missing’ came to Emma in 2007. She was sitting in a car with her Father and her paternal grandmother when the 81-year-old suddenly proclaimed that her friend was missing.

Emma Healey’s grandmother had already begun showing signs of dementia. Her words kept nagging at Emma for a long time, and she considered writing a story emanating from that one incident.

However, she hadn’t written a novel before and the prospect was a little overwhelming. More importantly, the idea of writing a story with an 81-year-old protagonist didn’t sound especially rational.

It took her five years to fully develop the story. With a portion of the book done, she enrolled in a creative writing program, continuing to pursue her story even after her graduation.

She didn’t stop working at it even when she found employment as a Web Administrator at the University of East Anglia. The book caused a bidding frenzy at the London Book Fair in 2013.

Emma fondly remembers the nine publishers who would stop at nothing to secure her book. The critical praise it receives explains the six-figure deal Healey was eventually able to close.

Her debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing didn’t just put Emma Healey on the map; it thrust her all the way to the mountain top. And because of her work on the book, she has received awards like the Costa Book Award for First Novel (2014), Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (2015) and the Betty Trask Award (2015).

Emma has shown particular appreciation for all the people who have reached out to her, telling her that her book speaks to similar situations that they have experienced with members of their families who have suffered from dementia.

+Elizabeth is Missing

Maud is an aging grandmother. And she is slowly losing her memory. And as her memories go, so does her grip on everyday life. None the less, Maud won’t be defeated.

At the very least, she refuses to forget Elizabeth, her best friend, especially now that she believes Elizabeth is missing.

But the problem with having an illness like Maud’s is that no one listens to you. Not even Maud’s frustrated daughter, Helen, takes her seriously. And certainly not her caretakers, the police or Elizabeth’s son, Peter.

So Maud takes to the case on her own, armed with the handwritten notes she leaves for herself.

Maud cannot fight the feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, and she will stop at nothing to discover the truth behind her friend’s plight. As her obsession with Elizabeth grows Maud’s present begins to dissolve.

And in following her own clues, she only digs dipper into her own past, stumbling upon a path that leads her back to the mysterious disappearance of her sister Sukey shortly before World War II.

Tragic memories come rushing back, driving Maud to solve the mysteries surrounding Sukey and Elizabeth.

This Emma Healey novel is nothing like most people have ever read before. There are elements of romance, humor, horror and drama, all perfectly blended together. The story delves into the horrors of aging and dementia, giving insight into the ways an individual’s world can crumble as everything that they ever knew begins to dissolve.

This is a sophisticated psychological mystery that, with heartbreaking honesty, delves into an elderly woman’s descent into dementia. The critical acclaim Emma drew for her work on this book is more than deserved.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Emma Healey

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