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Maryka Biaggio
Maryka Biaggio is a former psychology professor turned novelist with a passion for historical fiction. Her debut novel, Parlor Games, was published by Doubleday/Anchor in 2013. Her fiction has won Willamette Writers and Belles Lettres awards. She prides herself on crafting carefully researched and realistic fiction. She travels extensively, is an avid opera fan, and enjoys gardening, art films, and, of course, great fiction. She lives in Portland, Oregon, that edgy green gem of the Pacific Northwest.

Entries by Maryka Biaggio

Dear Author: I Love It, Now Change It

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 7:07 PM

I know that unpublished writers can hardly wait for the privilege of finding an editor who will love and caress their baby. But, believe me, it's not one big joy ride. A good editor -- I mean, a really good editor -- will make you suffer. It doesn't matter how...

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To Diagnose or Not to Diagnose

(1) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 7:53 PM

I am a psychologist, so I shouldn't be surprised when readers of my novel ask me to diagnose its wily protagonist. Is the heroine of Parlor Games, they wonder, a classic example of a sociopath? Might she be some variant, such as a narcissist? Or is she different from a...

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The Great Gatsby: 15 Water-Cooler-Worthy Questions

(9) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 5:58 PM

You can't have missed it. Gatsby is all the rage just now, especially Baz Luhrmann's movie rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby. And you must have some water-cooler-worthy questions to toss out because, from what I can gather, it's all anybody is talking about. So here...

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Characters Stranger Than Fiction

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 12:50 PM

Who hasn't tossed out the adage "truth is stranger than fiction" after hearing some absurd but true tale? In fact, the saying has turned cliché from overuse. But when it comes to fiction writers, reanimating the lives of real people is a serious matter. And many readers find their interest...

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On Writing, Self-Reproach, and Modernity

(2) Comments | Posted April 6, 2013 | 5:53 PM

I have just read a novel so finely rendered, so raw in its honesty, and so moving and singular, that it forces self-reproach upon me. How is it that I never before heard of it? Could it be because the author, Sándor Márai, was Hungarian? Or because, though published in...

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The Pinkerton Detectives -- Good, Bad, and Ugly

(3) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 10:38 AM

Daniel Stashower's new nonfiction book, Hour of Peril, tells the harrowing tale of how Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, saved Abraham Lincoln from assassination in 1861. Pinkerton and his associate, female detective Kate Warne, foiled a well-planned plot to assassinate Lincoln as he made his way to...

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Psychologist Meets Notorious Con Woman

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 9:01 PM

What happens when a psychologist decides to take up creative writing? And what if she stumbles on the true story of a woman who conned her way through the Gilded Age? Well, that story was too much for this particular psychologist-turned-writer to resist.

My notorious character was May Dugas,...

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Parlor Games: A Woman Without Means

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 6:03 PM

The women of Downton Abbey have a family fortune to provide them with the creature comforts of life. But what were the options for Gilded Age women who didn't have a legacy of wealth to fall back on? In a word -- few. And what of those who came from...

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