Varley O'Connor

To be released on May 7, 2019 by Bellevue Literary Press.

Photo credit: Brett Hall Jones.

Varley O'Connor's fifth novel, The Welsh Fasting Girl, will be published by Bellevue Literary Press on May 7, 2019.

Varley’s first novel, Like China, described by the New York Times as “a first novel that soars,” was published by William Morrow in 1991. Her second novel, A Company of Three, about the world of theater and acting, came out from Algonquin Books in 2003. Her third novel, The Cure, was published by the Bellevue Literary Press in 2007. Scribner released her fourth novel, The Master's Muse, in 2012.

Her short prose has appeared in The Capra Review, Missouri Review, Santa Monica Review, Faultline: Journal of Art and Literature, AWP Writer’s Chronicle, Driftwood, Algonkian Magazine, The Sun, Publishers Weekly, and in an anthology, Naming the World and Other Exercises for Creative Writers, edited by Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House, 2008).

After graduating with a BFA in acting from Boston University, O’Connor worked as a stage, film, and television actor before entering the MFA Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine.

She has taught writing and literature at Irvine, Hofstra University, Brooklyn College, Marymount Manhattan College, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers’ Summer Conference.

In fall 2007 Varley O’Connor joined the faculty at Kent State University, where in addition to undergraduate creative writing, she teaches fiction and creative nonfiction writing in the Northeast Ohio Universities Consortium MFA program.


A nineteenth-century American woman journalist becomes deeply invested in the tragic case of a young Welsh girl. This novel delves into the complexities of a true story in order to understand how a culture's anxieties led to the murder of a child.
A novel about the relationship between Tanaquil Le Clercq and George Balanchine, told from her point of view. Balanchine was the greatest ballet master of the 20th century, and Le Clercq, a brilliant ballerina who contracted polio at the height of her career, was his fifth wife.
A novel about a family bound together and almost torn apart by a son’s polio.
A bittersweet elegy of three actor friends facing the realities of their dreams.

Find Authors