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Bestselling novelist and travel writer Maggie Shipstead’s latest book is a master class in historical fiction. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Great Circle transports us to the mid-20th century, where fictional legendary aviator Marian Graves has gone missing on her attempted flight around the world. Jumping back in time, Shipstead lays out Marian’s origin story, her passion for adventure—and flight specifically—born of compounded unlikely disasters. Alongside this timeline, Shipstead follows Hadley Baxter, a disgraced actor on a self-destructive streak who’s won the starring role in a biopic about Marian’s life. Through these two women’s richly detailed stories, Shipstead reveals the many varied manifestations of strength and heroism in sweeping, mesmeric prose.

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