How Shark Heart Transformed Emily Habeck and Her Readers

Emily Habeck discusses her widely imaginative debut novel, Shark Heart, and how this writing project transformed her life and the lives of her readers.

How Shark Heart Transformed Emily Habeck and Her Readers

It’s no secret that Shark Heart was my favorite debut of the year, and today’s meaningful author conversation only solidified this moving reading experience.

We discuss the unusual overlap to our love stories and the other surprising emotional connections readers have made to this imagined world.

Emily’s success in literary fiction was a surprise, but the reason for her jump from screenplay writing to a novel may surprise you with how she ended up here.

Drawing from her theatrical background, Habeck shares more about her unique story structure and how magical realism can still offer the reader a grounded experience.

The Best Magical Realism Books to Read Now

Discover today’s BONUS BOOK LIST with 29 magical realism books for your book stack this month.

Emily joins our patron space to discuss the Shark Heart ending with surprising candidness on some of this story’s more unusual paths she chose, but even more so, the ways she DIDN’T decide to go to get to this book’s ending.

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Emily Habeck Author of Shark Heart

Meet Emily Habeck

Emily Habeck has a BFA in Theater from Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts as well as master’s degrees from Vanderbilt Divinity School and Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Her debut novel Shark Heart was a Book of the Month selection, a New York Times book review editor’s choice, and the #1 Indie Next pick for August 2023.

She is from Ardmore, Oklahoma and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Shark Heart by Emily Habeck

Discover Shark Heart by Emily Habeck

A shocking discovery unfolds in Lewis and Wren’s first year of marriage, a time that should be rooted in great happiness.  Lewis is diagnosed with a rare condition that gradually turns him into a shark in this story’s wildly imaginative plot.

As he struggles with his diagnosis and evolving transformation, Wren rises to meet these daily challenges in moving ways. She is no stranger to genetic mutations and how quickly her world can evolve and readers uncover a stunning backstory to Wren’s journey. 

But as Lewis’s new shark existence takes over, readers are taken on an equally meaningful adventure with an unlikely accomplice that the reader will never expect. 

How Shark Heart Transformed Emily Habeck and Her Readers

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Meet the NEW 2024 MomAdvice Book Club Books

Banyan Moon by Thao Thai

The Best Debut Novels of 2023

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Shark Heart by Emily Habeck

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

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Published February 15, 2024 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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