Elizabeth Kostova: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Elizabeth Kostova

Internationally Best-Selling Historical Fiction Author

“Kostova’s theme is creative obsession and what everyday boundaries can be broken in its name; the novel seems to favor the most romantic answer… lush prose and abundant drama…” – Kirkus

Elizabeth Kostova is an internationally best-selling author. A master at marrying fiction and history, she has addressed universities, creative-writing programs, libraries, arts and literary festivals, book groups, art and history museums, history clubs and historic membership clubs, high schools, writers’ retreats and conferences. The publication of Kostova’s debut novel, The Historian, was a historic achievement in the world of books.

The Historian brought to brilliant life the story behind the legend of Vlad the Impaler (inspiration for the myth of Dracula); it was an instant international hit—now published in forty languages—and the first debut novel to enter the New York Times bestseller list at #1. An epic tale ten years in the making, it remained on the list for nineteen weeks after it was published, amid a maelstrom of interviews and rave reviews. Newsweek’s Malcolm Jones said of The Historian, “Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version [of the Dracula story] so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time.” Currently there are an estimated four million copies of this phenomenal bestseller in print worldwide, and a major motion picture based on the book is in development.

Nearly five years after The Historian’s instant success, Elizabeth Kostova’s returned with The Swan Thieves, a sweeping tale of historical intrigue spanning centuries and continents. The Swan Thieves is the story of a beautiful woman, a mysterious painting, and a secret from the depths of art history.

The enigmatic Robert Oliver is a painter whose great talent is hindered by his troubled mind. When psychiatrist Andrew Marlow attempts to discover the secret behind Robert’s torment, he is led on a journey into the lives of the women closest to Oliver—and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism. From American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope. With stunning prose and dramatic storytelling, Kostova examines both the luminous talent behind great artistry and the dark, mad existence that talent can enliven. Love, beauty, yearning, and obsession culminate in a novel that will captivate readers until the shocking revelation at its conclusion.

In May 2007, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation was created. The Foundation helps support Bulgarian creative writing, the translation of contemporary Bulgarian literature into English, and friendship between Bulgarian authors and American and British authors. Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.

Interested in booking Elizabeth Kostova to speak at your next event?

Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau.


  • The Process of Writing
  • The Challenges and Pleasures of Doing Research for Historical Fiction

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