Margit Liesche

Margit Liesche is the daughter of Hungarian refugees who arrived in the States in 1947 following years of missionary service in war-torn central China. Weaned on her parents' tales of adventure and escape, intrigue is part of her DNA. Margit's passion is bringing history—and historical figures—to life through fiction, helping preserve what should never be forgotten.

Her initial books, Lipstick and Lies and Hollywood Buzz, showcase heroines of the WWII home front, the female pilots of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), and the women who served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), precursor to today's CIA.

Triptych and her recently completed fourth novel, The Intimist, reflect her abiding passion for her familial homeland and its history, in particular the years leading up to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution when she was a child. Both are portrayals of the loss of freedom and a way of life under an imposed totalitarian system overlaying a compelling human focus on the tangled nature of mother-daughter relationships.

The strength of the Hungarian people to ultimately withstand the brutal Russian communist regime and the repression of personal freedoms and national culture, continues to be a source of great pride and imbues Margit's work. And the parallels of the current tragic circumstances in Ukraine to Hungary's past are not lost on her. An excerpt from The Intimist, subtitled "A Love Letter to Kyiv," published in the Summer 2022 issue of the Catamaran Literary Reader, provides a window into the desperate days of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

The inspiration for these two latest novels is captured in Margit's "The Ocean Between Us," a personal essay of the journey to a deeper understanding of her Hungarian refugee mother and her heritage, published in the Chicago Quarterly Review and designated notable in The Best American Essays. Margit has appeared as a guest-expert on the PBS series History Detectives. A proud library card holder since the age of seven, she has been active behind the scenes and in the hot seat at numerous library fundraisers. A longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she grew up near Chicago where portions of Triptych are set.


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