Author Spotlight : Rebecca Makkai

Published on May 24, 2018


About Our Book Club Reception with Rebecca Makkai:

We had a great event with Rebecca Makkai here at the Library on June 1st for our Book Club Reception! Rebecca discussed one of the most anticipated books of this summer, her new novel, The Great Believers, how to get authors to come to your book club and some of her favorite book club titles. Rebecca's novel, The Hundred-Year House was 2015's Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale title. We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate such an excellent local author! 


About The Great Believers:

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Publication date June 19, 2018. A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, he finds his partner is infected, and that he might even have the virus himself. The only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona's stories unfold in incredibly moving and sometimes surprising ways, as both struggle to find goodness in the face of disaster.

The Great Believers is on Chicago Tribune's 25 Hot Books for Summer, CN Travelers 10 Best Summer Reads of 2018 and TIME Magazine's 22 New Books to Read this Summer lists.


About Rebecca Makkai: 

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Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the short story collection Music for Wartime, which appeared in 2015, and of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut which has been translated into eight languages. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2008-2011). The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai is on the MFA faculty at Sierra Nevada college and has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Tin House, Lake Forest College and Northwestern University.

Her new stories and essays appear regularly in places like Harper’sTin House, the Wall Street Journal, and New England Review

Rebecca has two young daughters. She was an elementary Montessori teacher for the twelve years before the publication of her first book.


Interviews with Rebecca Makkai:


The Rumpus

The Millions

Fiction Writers Review

Hypertext Magazine

Shenendoah Literary

Michigan Quarterly Review



Learn More: About Rebecca and her writing at her website.