Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Martin Seay  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Texas

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Illinois Connection

Seay works for the village of Wheeling.

Biographical and Professional Information

Martin Seay's fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in a variety of publications. He holds undergraduate degrees from Trinity University and an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina; he was also a 2005-2006 fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He currently lives in Chicago with his spouse, the writer Kathleen Rooney. The rights to adapt his debut novel, ''The Mirror Thief'', as a film have been acquired by Director Peter Chelsom and his collaborators Tinker Lindsay and John Albanis.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Mirror Thief
ISBN: 1612195148

Melville House. 2016

A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining masterpiece hailed by the New York Times Book Review as "Audaciously well written...the book I was raving about to my friends before I'd even finished it."

Publishers Weekly raved that "with near-universal appeal . . . Seay’s debut novel is a true delight, a big, beautiful cabinet of wonders that is by turns an ominous modern thriller, a supernatural mystery, and an enchanting historical adventure story." Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its mix of entertainment and literary bravado.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world's most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascinationwas it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing?the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, howevera world-weary war hero with nothing to losehas a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city's terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten . . .

Meanwhile, in two other VenicesVenice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa todaytwo other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret . . .

All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put downan old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice . . . and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of art.


The Mirror Thief

  • Notable Book of the Year, New York Times
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Best Book of the Year, Publishers Weekly
  • Best Book of the Year, NPR
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2018

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Martin Seay is represented by: Kent D. Wolf of The Friedrich Agency 19 West 21st Street, Suite 201 New York, NY 10010 212-317-8810