Julie Lekstrom Himes

Keynote Speaker

Julie Lekstrom Himes

Keynote Speaker


Himes’ short fiction has been published in Shenandoah, The Florida Review (Editor’s Choice Award 2008), Mid-American Review, Fourteen Hills (nominated for Best American Mysteries 2011), and elsewhere. “Mikhail and Margarita” is her debut novel. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.



Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s 2017 First Novel Prize

“Himes’s confident, carefully crafted debut novel…adeptly details brutality and betrayal as well as creativity and the uncertainties of censorship…”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In Mikhail and Margarita, Himes manages to perform the remarkable task of simultaneously paying homage to Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel and writing her own brilliant novel of love, betrayal and censorship. the result is an atmospheric, gripping, authoritative and deeply suspenseful narrative that utterly transports the reader.”
—Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy and Mercury

“Mikhail and Maragrita renders with astonishing authority and grace not only the oppressive monstrousness of the Soviet Regime…but also the intensity and beauty of the love at the novel’s center, a love that’s all the more heartening because it’s generated by figures with such spectacular flaws.”
—Jim Shepard, national Book Award nominated author of The Book of Aron

“This richly imagined retelling of [Bulgakov’s] lean years wich gave rise to his phantasmagoric novel “The Master and Margarita”—mixes fact and fiction to create a narrative that is both foreign and familiar.”
—The New Yorker

“A book about authoritarian crackdown on speech and satire that is sadly timely.”

“Himes’ novel is lovely and stands on its own for a reader who has no prior experience with Bulgakov’s work or Russian literature. But for the reader who is familiar Himes has woven in references and details that are delightful.”
—Cleaver Magazine

“Part paean to Bulgakov’s genius, part essay on the issue of censorship, Mikhail and Margarita is strongest when it examines classical fiction’s central themes, deception and betrayal.”
—The Historical Novels Review