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Victoria MacKenzie

Victoria MacKenzie lives in a Scottish fishing village, surrounded by seabirds and books. She was awarded a Bridge Award for an Emerging Writer from Moniack Mhor in 2015 and a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award in 2016. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.


Victoria has been a Hawthornden Fellow and has held several residencies at Cove Park Artists’ Centre, as well as a two-month residency at Saari Manor in Finland. In 2019 she was awarded the Cove Park-Varuna residency and spent a month in the Blue Mountains of Australia. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature, both from the University of St Andrews, and she teaches creative writing for the Open College of the Arts.


Her first novel, For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain, is set in Norfolk in 1413 and is based on the lives of the medieval mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. It explores the effects of grief and trauma, the constraints of medieval women’s lives, and the genesis of women’s writing.


Praise for: For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain

'This is the best first novel I've read in years.  It is short, yet so full and so vivid; it is amazing.' Roddy Doyle

'Magnificent, bold and compelling ... The writing is sometimes raw, at other times very beautiful - and from a place of deep knowledge and love of the historical period.' Rosie Andrews author of The Leviathan

'Compelling and beautiful. MacKenzie performs a small miracle in imagining the different lives and personalities of these two medieval women. She writes with great understanding - and the sensibility of a poet - about the power that their religious mysticism gives them' Alison light author of A Radical Romance

'Intimately observed, lyrically written and meticulously researched. I loved this insight into the lives of medieval women' Kirsty Logan author of Things We Say In The Dark 

'This slim novel is a pocket epic; you will read it in no time but be thinking about it for ages after'. The Guardian

'Stunningly original debut' Marie Claire


Victoria MacKenzie Titles