Contact details

Email Margie:
margie@margieorford.com

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Agent:
Isobel Dixon
Blake Friedmann Literary, Film and TV Agency
122 Arlington Rd
London NW1 7HP
Tel +44 207 284 0408
Fax +44 207 284 0442
isobel@blakefriedmann.co.uk
www.blakefriedmann.co.uk

Meet Margie Orford

Margie OrfordMargie Orford is internationally acclaimed writer. Her Clare Hart novels – a literary crime fiction series that explores violence and its effects in South Africa – are published in the USA and the UK and have been widely translated into more than ten languages. She is an award-winning journalist. Apart from her fiction, she writes regularly about crime, gender violence, politics and freedom of expression, and literature. She has written a number of children’s books and several works of non-fiction on subjects ranging from climate change to rural development.
She was born in London to South African parents, but grew up in Namibia and South Africa where she was educated at the University of Cape Town. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1999 and has Masters in Comparative Literature from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She is a member of the executive board of PEN International, the president of PEN South Africa, the patron of Rape Crisis and of the children’s book charity, the Little Hands Trust.


‘Margie Orford is the queen of South African crime thriller writers ... The energy Margie Orford creates between her characters and the tautness of her plots is attracting new readers and publishers every month.’ Sue Grant-Marshall, The Weekender

‘Margie Orford’s writing is cinematic, powerful and so close to the bone it almost cuts.’ Jenny Crwys-Williams

‘Margie Orford delights in perfectly rendered local colour and lingo, her characters are convincing, the setting is conveyed with unflinching honesty, and she writes with verve and a crackling energy.’
William Saunderson Meyer, The Weekender

 

Read "Margie Orford on finding one's vocation" at the UK Daily Mail online.

Read "Once Upon a Life: Margie Orford" at the Guardian online.

 

The latest from Margie's blog


Q&A

I write...
Most of the time.

The first book I ever read and loved was...
I was given a copy of Janet and John and their dog Rover when I started school at terrifying place called Klerksdorp Primary. It had pictures and a mother with tidy hair and I longed for a world as orderly as theirs. I still do.

I wouldn't be where I am today without...
Without being born into a family of readers. The first thing anyone in my family asks is, 'Have you read....?' And then they give you a new book.

Books are to life what...
Sex is to love. Without them - sex or books - there's not much spice.

Every child should be required to read...
Instead of watching television. Essentials are: AA Milne: When We Were Very Young & Now We are Six - to understand change.
Roald Dahl: All of his children's books, in which all bad children come to such a bad end – to understand natural justice.
The back page of the Sunday Times - the best sex education in South Africa.

I can't write if...
I'm washing up. (I never wash up.)

In another life I would have been...
An explorer. Freya Stark perhaps.

I'd never have become a writer if I hadn't read...
Wuthering Heights. Imagine being able to create the electricity between Cathy and Heathcliff? That's what I wanted to do.

The best book I've read in a long while was...
Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men

The worst book I've ever read was...
The Chicken Soup books. They give you brain rot.

When I'm not writing I...
Garden and think about writing. If it's dark, then I drink wine and smoke and talk about writing. Either way I'm a pain and I neglect my family.

I'm at my most contented when...
I'm alone, at home, writing.

I'm at my most discontented when...
When I want to be alone and can't be.

My favourite hero of fiction is...
Lady Macbeth. She's evil, I know, but that 'unsex me here' speech of hers was the first time I realised that as a woman you can remake yourself if there is something you really want to achieve. Macbeth, on the other hand, is a blood thirsty wimp.

My favourite hero in real life is...
Aung San Syu Ki, in house arrest in Burma. She just won't go away.

My greatest extravagance is...
Plants.

My most treasured possession is...
My laptop.

The worst day of my life was...
When I finished my first book. I thought I would feel free. Instead I just had to start the next one.

The best advice I ever got was...
About my writing: 'glimmers of intelligence' was the comment on a university honours paper by my English professor, who later went on to win a Nobel prize.

The three people I would most like to invite over for dinner...
Bessie Head, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Anna Karenina.

If my house was on fire, I would save....
My laptop and my children. I suppose not in that order.

Interview by Michelle Magwood of the Sunday Times