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Marginalia: Fiona Barton

Jenny Lewis

Although she spent years working as a journalist, Fiona Barton only recently became a novelist last year with the publication of the psychological thriller, The Widow. And a second thriller, The Child, was just published a few weeks ago.

Both stories are told through a chorus of characters, through reliable narrators and some not so reliable. Barton didn’t expect to publish two novels in two years, nor did she plan on a repeat performance from her characters, particularly, a journalist named Kate Waters.

In The Child, Kate is one of three different women who see a clipping in newspaper, a short piece reporting that the skeletal remains of a baby have been found by workers at a construction site. All three women--Kate, Angela and Emma--react differently: Kate wants to do a follow-up; Angela wonders if it is her child, stolen from her in the hospital; and we’re not quite sure what Emma thinks, because this is a psychological thriller.

I spoke with Fiona Barton this week about her new book. Since it is a thriller, I didn’t want to expose any spoilers. So we touched on the book a bit, but then steered the conversation to her own writing career and how her journalism experience informed some of her characters.

I’m Beth Golay, this is Marginalia, and here’s our conversation:

And if you listened to the commentary on air, this is what you heard:

Fiona Barton | Marginalia, the commentary


The Child by Fiona Barton was published by Berkley.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita.

Editor: Lu Anne Stephens
Engineer: Jon Cyphers
Producer: Beth Golay