The Paper Boat


The Paper Boat
, (604 pages), is a novel based on the life and work of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). The novel begins in Pisa, Italy, nine months before Shelley’s death and flashes back to trace his vigorous interior and multifarious exterior life. The book exhibits extensive and thorough research and although most of the scenes stem from accurate historical facts, it is a work of fiction. Shelley’s relationship with his wife Mary is tender yet complicated by financial hardship, constant relocation and the loss of four children. Shelley’s alternative bond with the poet Lord Byron, an outrageous, extravagant character, is somewhat absurd yet courageous and intellectually provocative. The novel illustrates the fullness of the poet’s character; a vibrant conflict between imagination and reality, and the radical pendulum of idealism in the Romantic era. Shelley’s life ended tragically and my telling of his story reads with compelling passion, darkness, much light, humor and delight.


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Savant Publishers 2019


Other Novels

"Warehouse", "The Lover from Sarajevo", "The Woman in the Middle", "Navel of the Sea", "Mr. Mist", "London San Francisco" and "Chateau Beauchere"

Warehouse is about the club scene in San Francisco’s SOMA district in the late 1980’s. T

he Woman in the Middle is a contemporary love story loosely based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. 

The Paper Boat, (my favorite), is about fantastic yet short lived life of Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

The Lover from Sarajevo is a “Bildungsroman” about a musician who travels through Europe after escaping the Bosnian war. 

London San Francisco is a tale of a caustic romance, and Mr. Mist, a sequel to London San Francisco.

Navel of the Sea is a collection of historically oriented short stories embedded in a narrative about the authors who write them. 

Chateau Beauchere is about a surfer from Santa Cruz, California who inherits a castle in the south of France. 

I have also written 12 chapbooks of poetry, a collection of essays and a screenplay entitled The Plant, a Kafkaesque romantic comedy about a young man who carries a houseplant around with him where ever he goes.

I am currently working on a new novel about a man who comes to America from Ireland in 1969 and rides a motorcycle across its 50 States.

© Copyright Elizabeth McKague