“I love artists. I find them fascinating. To me, there really is a genuine magic in what they do.” – Elizabeth Hand
Hand, who was born on this date in 1957 in Yonkers, New York, studied drama and anthropology in college and thought of a career on stage before getting into writing. Since 1988, she has lived in coastal Maine, the setting for many of her stories, and she also lives part-time in Camden Town, London, the setting for her historical fantasy novel Mortal Love and short story "Cleopatra Brimstone.”
While Science Fiction and Fantasy have been focal points for many of her works, she said she didn’t read much Science Fiction as a kid. “I was a total Tolkien geek - but I started reading Samuel Delany and Angela Carter and Ursula LeGuin in high school, and I was definitely taken with the notion that here was a literature that could explore various notions of gender identity and how it affects the culture at large.”
Also a writer of television and sci-fi movie spin-offs, Hand is co-author of the DC Comics’ cult favorite Anima. Her most recent book, 2016’s Hard Light, continues a series of genré-blending novels that combine psychodrama, suspense, mystery and art. Hard Light was a sequel to 2012’s Available Dark, which was a sequel to 2008’s Generation Loss, winner of the first Shirley Jackson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychological Suspense. The trio of books have cemented Hand’s place as a unique and impactful storyteller.
“I never think about genre when I work,” she said. “I've written fantasy, science fiction, supernatural fiction . . . suspense. Genrés are mostly useful as a marketing tool, and to help booksellers know where to shelve a book.”
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