Maggie Shipstead is an American novelist who lives in Los Angeles. She is shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize with Great Circle - her third novel.

Her debut, Seating Arrangements, was a New York Times bestseller in 2012 and won the Dylan Thomas Prize and LA Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a two-time National Magazine Award finalist for fiction. Great Circle was inspired by a statue of New Zealand’s Jean Batten at Auckland airport. Shipstead’s plan was to write a book about ‘scale, travel and what it means to live a life that’s truly free’. She has a collection of short stories coming out next summer.


I’m sadly incapable of planning my books. I wish I could, but instead I just have to leap and then hope I’m able to resolve all the problems I create

All nominated books

Great Circle