Rebecca Makkai is an American author and short story writer based out of Chicago, IL. She released her first novel, The Borrower, in 2011 and it was a hit right away as it was selected as a Top Ten Debut by Booklist and was also featured in O Magazine. In addition to her novels, Rebecca has also taught at Northwestern University, Lake Forest College, Sierra Nevada College, and she is the Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Makkai grew up in Lake Bluff, Illinois as the daughter of two linguistics professors who embedded her with a love of words early in life. She is actually not the first author in her family as her paternal grandmother, Ignacz Rozsa, was a novelist in Hungary.

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

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

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Music for Wartime (2015)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Anthologies

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

If You Like Rebecca Makkai Books, You’ll Love…

The Borrower tells the story of a children’s librarian named Lucy Hall who becomes very entangled with one of her readers, ten-year old Ian Drake. The boy is her most voracious reader, but he has a very overbearing mother who seeks to control his reading list and has enrolled him in anti-gay classes. Lucy tries to sneak him books, but one day she finds him in the library as the boy is running away. She puts him in her car to take him home, but ends up on a crazy road trip. This book has been praised as a nonromantic love story that is engaging, smart and funny.

Makkai also wrote The Great Believers, a period piece that is partially set in 1980s Chicago (and present day Paris) that focuses on the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s that ravages an art community. It tells the story of Yale Tishman who loses so many people close to him during this time and his friend Nicos’ little sister Fiona who is the only one left to him. In the present day, Fiona is attempting to track down her estranged daughter but ends up coming face to face with the awful things she left behind 30 years ago. A truly riveting and emotional story that will have you saying “one more page” deep into the night.

Order of Books » Authors » Order of Rebecca Makkai Books

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