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Rebecca Makkai Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Borrower (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hundred-Year House (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Believers (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Have Some Questions For You (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Music for Wartime (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Real Unreal(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Astoria to Zion(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Stories from the Midwest: 2012(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Between the Covers(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Growing Up Chicago(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Rebecca Makkai is a highly popular author of short stories who eventually made a name for herself when she finally entered the arena of producing full-length novels. For her efforts, Rebecca’s books have dominated Top Ten lists in the literary arena, this including her first novel which has since been translated into multiple languages.

Some of Rebecca’s more notable accolades include the Pushcart Prize which she won for short fiction.

+ Biography

Rebecca Makkai could read by the time she was three. She even wrote her first story around this period. It was printed on a cardboard box and stood as a testament to Rebecca’s destiny.

The author grew up surrounded by artists. For one thing, Rebecca’s parents were linguistic professors; though, Rebecca’s earliest memories had less to do with language analysis and more to do with music.

Everyone from Rebecca’s father to her sister played the piano. In fact, her sister eventually went on to become a Piano teacher. Her mother preferred the Organ. Either way, music was commonplace in Rebecca’s household. Practically every visitor that walked into their home was an artist of one sort or another.

The fact that Rebecca’s father was so intimately involved with the ex-pat Hungarian community, of which he was a part, contributed to the musical lifestyle of his household.

Rebecca had plenty of opportunities to experiment with her artistic side, and she soon realized that she gravitated towards the writers in her parents’ group of friends. More importantly, the author found that she liked writing about artists and intellectuals. Gritty stories never held any appeal for her.

Of course, it took Rebecca Makkai quite a while to narrow down her interests. Rebecca’s earliest literary memory was when she encountered Lois Lowry and grew so obsessed that she went on the hunt for every new book the author had to offer in every library she could find. And because she was only eight at the time, Rebecca couldn’t understand why Lowry was taking so long to write new books. She didn’t quite yet understand how long it took to write a book.

And after growing accustomed to finding new installments in the ‘Baby-Sitters Club’ series every time she visited the library, she had come to expect the same frequency of release from her favorite authors.

Because Rebecca had determined from an early age that she would write for a living, all the decisions she made regarding her education were geared towards making her publishing dreams a reality, this including her decision to acquire a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in English from Washington and Lee University and the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School.

The author started out writing short fiction. Her initial attempts at producing full-length novels did not yield particularly solid results. Because she didn’t know what she was doing, Rebecca often wrote numerous scattered scenes and tried to sew them into an appropriate order with little success.

The author’s approach to mastering the craft of her desired profession involved reading widely, delving into the works of authors from the past and the present, and either adapting techniques she never knew from the best of these authors or realizing what not to do from poorly executed books.

Rebecca Makkai’s official transition from short story writer to proper novelist happened organically. After giving the task of writing full-length novels a wide berth for a few years, Rebecca eventually came across an idea that she intended to produce as a short story.

However, she was unable to keep it under the required length and, with all the knowledge she had amassed since her earliest days, Rebecca realized that she could do so much more if she allowed that story to run its course, even if it eventually bloomed into a full-length novel.

Most of Rebecca’s writing takes place outside the house. With two children to care for, Rebecca can never get anything done if she stays at home, especially when her children are awake. So she normally runs away to a coffee shop or a library, opens her laptop and lets her imagination take the lead.

Rebecca Makkai is one of those authors that love to carefully plan. She isn’t comfortable with the more popular approach of simply sitting down and letting the story evolve organically. She likes knowing where she is going and how things will ultimately end. That being said, Rebecca always gives her characters the space and the opportunity to surprise her.

+The Hundred Year House

Zee is a Marxist Literary Scholar. Zee claims to hate her parent’s money and everything they stand for. But she seems to have no qualms about living in their carriage house.

Gracie is Zee’s mother and she believes that she can tell everything there is to know about a person by simply looking at their teeth.

Bruce, Zee’s stepfather, believes that the Y2K apocalypse is just over the horizon and he has been fervently collecting supplies for the inevitable end.

Zee’s grandmother Violet supposedly took her own life; she breathed her last somewhere in the house, and her massive oil portrait is a little difficult to ignore seeing as it hangs proudly in the dining room.

This Rebecca Makkai novel attempts to analyse the lives of all these characters in a story that explores the generations that have lived, loved and died in a mysterious house.

The Hundred Year House is just that: a house that was built in the 1900s, eventually becoming a colony of sorts for artists. Rebecca explores the house during three particular time periods, providing glimpses into the people who were living in the house during those times.

Rebecca Makkai writes the house as a character of its own.

+Music for Wartime: Stories

This book is a collection of stories from award-winning author Rebecca Makkai. The book is a blend of Rebecca’s signature wit and intelligence, and includes stories like that of a reality show producer who cannot nurture her own relationship but seems perfectly capable of helping two contestants fall for one another, and a minister in a small town who begins to question his understanding of belief and faith when he is asked to bury the remains of a prized elephant.

The stories in this book are very varied and unique and they manifest Rebecca Makkai’s abilities as a truly dynamic writer.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Rebecca Makkai

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