Alice Miller (Writing for the Page, 2005)
I'll always be madly grateful for that year of intensive reading and writing, and for what has come after.
Alice writes: 'The MA derailed my plans. It gave me permission to be a writer for a year, something I hadn't been brave enough to admit I desperately wanted. I'd made other plans, which seemed to me less wildly unlikely. But when I got into the MA, those plans began to change.
'I'll always be madly grateful to Bill, James, and my classmates for that year of intensive reading and writing, and for what has come after. Sure, writing is often underpaid, anxiety-inducing, and lonely, but I'm still astonished I get to read, teach, throw words together, and hang out in the exquisite company of writers, both alive and dead.
'From landlocked Vienna, 16 Waiteata Road feels very distant, particularly its outlook over the vast harbour. But I like to think of new, awed writers, creaking up and down the stairs.'
Bio: Alice Miller completed the MA in 2005, and with the help of a Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship, went on to complete an MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Alice is the author of two poetry collections and a novel. Her first novel, More Miracle than Bird, was published by Tin House Books in 2020. Her poetry collections are Nowhere Nearer (Auckland University Press and Liverpool University Press, 2018) and The Limits (AUP and Shearsman, 2014), as well as an additional collection that is translated into German, Blaue Stunde (Edition Solitude, 2016). Alice's work has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Magazine, Best New Zealand Poems, Poetry London, and The New Republic. She has received the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award, the Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize, a Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship, and a literature fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany. She works as a writer and editor at the United Nations, and lives in Berlin with her Norwegian husband.
"Miller's revelatory debut novel, written in crisp, elegant prose, focuses on Georgie Hyde-Lees, wife of Anglo Irish poet W. B. Yeats … Miller deftly presents a portrait of Georgie, a young woman calibrating her place in the world, and her shifting relationship with the man she adores."
"Miller's debut coolly appraises the poet while fully inhabiting the woman in his shadow."
"Historical fiction devotees will appreciate this sensitive character study wrapped in an atmospheric, moody rendering of WWI London."
"The spell Miller casts with her first novel is mesmerizing."
—Seattle Book Review
"A shimmering novel about our yearnings for forever, and the greatest mystery of life, which is, of course, love. It must be said: More Miracle than Bird is a bit of a miracle in itself."
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling Author of Pictures of You
"Only a wildly gifted novelist could give us this terrific tale of Georgie Hyde-Lees and her some-time suitor, the much older poet W.B. Yeats. Written with superb emotional rightness."
—Joan Silber, author of Improvement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
"More Miracle Than Bird will ring in my mind's ear for a long time, and I will return to its pages. A wonderful book!"
—Jay Parini, author of The Last Station