Given the Choice


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Author Susan Sellers - Profile Photo


Susan Sellers

After a nomadic childhood, Susan Sellers ran away to Paris. Renting a chambre de bonne, she worked as a barmaid, tour-guide and nanny, bluffed her way as a software translator and co-wrote a film script with a Hollywood screenwriter.

She became closely involved with leading French feminist writers and translated Hélène Cixous. From Paris she travelled to Swaziland, teaching English to tribal grandmothers, and to Peru, where she worked for a women’s aid agency.

She is Professor of English and Related Literature at the University of St Andrews, where she teaches modernist and contemporary literature and creative writing. In 2002 she won the Canongate Prize for Short Story Writing and in 2007 received a New Writing Partnership Arts Council Award for her novel Vanessa and Virginia, which has been translated into 15 languages. Her second novel, Given the Choice, about women in the contemporary art world, was published in 2013. Her third, Firebird, tells the story of the extraordinary love affair between John Maynard Keynes and Lydia Lopokova, with translations forthcoming in Germany and France. 

Susan is represented by Jenny Brown at Jenny Brown Associates

Contemporary Fiction

Given the Choice

From the award winning author of Vanessa and Virginia, Given the Choice is about growing older and growing up, about making choices and learning to live with them.

Marion, 39, has a lot going for her. She’s talented, ambitious and married to a wealthy financier who adores her. She’s also capable of lying when the odds seem stacked up against her and is a good deal more vulnerable than she lets on. Amidst the glamour and spin of the contemporary London art and classical music worlds, money rules and an artist’s skill is rarely enough. Marion’s top clients – a brilliant French painter and a virtuoso Estonian pianist – benefit from her entrepreneurial flair, but when her husband says it’s time they had a child, this contrary heroine faces a tough choice.

Will Marion become ensnared in the web of deceit she has cast round herself? Or can she learn enough to save her business and her marriage?

In this novel by the award-winning author of Vanessa and Virginia, it is you, the reader, who decides.


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