Elizabeth K Reeder is a Chicago native now living in Scotland. She writes novels, essays and stories, and also writes for the radio. She is fascinated by things we build and dismantle (houses, identity, family, community) and how we write about them.
Elizabeth is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow and is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Her first novel was shortlisted for a number of awards including a Saltire Literary award.
Praise for AN ARCHIVE OF HAPPINESS - Penned in the Margins - 15th September 2020
'This is a wonderful book. Tender and insightful on the love and tensions on one crucial day in the life of a family.' - Sophie Ward
'Poignant, moving story of a fractured family restoring bonds in their trysting place. EK Reeder has placed her tale perfectly in the physical and emotional landscape of Scotland today. No-one can accuse her of tartanising. This is real life in the Highlands of Scotland.' - Malcolm Alexander
‘Lyrical prose, with delicately beautiful descriptions that leave the senses reeling and take the reader’s breath away over and over again.’ - Celia Anderson
'An Archive of Happiness is a poignant, multi-layered exploration of family relationships brilliantly revealed. A haunting story told in exquisite prose' - Ruth Hogan
‘This is such a big-hearted, intricate and compelling novel: it is as robust and delicate as the landscapes it inhabits. Reeder tells a story of loss, fracture and repair, every sentence infused with both clear-sightedness and love.' - Jenn Ashworth
'An Archive of Happiness is a beautifully weaved together novel that carries within its daring structure the real sense of a family who are struggling and striving to live their truest selves.’ - Helen McClory
'An exquistite novel that resonates with tender, forgiving truth' - Helen Sedgwick
'Elizabeth Reeder's stately prose contrasts with the perfectly observed, everyday minutiae of a tense family reunion in an Archive of Happiness - a modern-day To The Lighthouse when it comes to the sensation of time constantly slipping through the fingers even while drawing out into an eternity of moments.' - Harriet Walker
‘They were angry and funny and exposed and there was a mother-sized absence in the middle of their family and if they poked it, it growled." Knocked out cold by Elizabeth Reeder’s An Archive Of Happiness, a magnetic storm cycle of a novel. Nettle-stung family epic.' - Margot Douaihy
'This is a compelling, haunting tale of the Avens family, who reunite every year in the wild and beautiful Scottish Highlands. Taking place over the course of one day, we become intimately acquainted with each family member, the secrets they keep and the sadness they share. It is a heart-breaking, thrilling story which stayed with me long after the final page.' - Annie Lyons
When Rachel Roanoke sees Hal Fremont across a diner counter, she claims him as her own, and they start to build their rambunctious brood. Against their parents’ ill-starred fairytale romance, the Fremont children fight for their territory within the shifting, bitter bonds of family. In this tale of prejudice, identity and desire, Fremont becomes a map of survival.
Roe is like any other fifteen year old suburban Chicago teenager. Her only worries are schoolwork, keeping up with her wayward best friend, and whether or not she should sleep with her boyfriend. Then her adoptive father, a locksmith, disappears one winter’s day without explanation.
Penned In The Margins
A poetic novel about an unconventional family in the Scottish Highlands by Elizabeth Reeder. An Archive of Happiness is mostly set over the course of one day, during the Avens family's annual get-together on the Summer Solstice. Theirs is a fractured family, broken by arguments, by things said and not said, by a mother who left and a father who was left behind. What happens on this day will force them to cleave together to survive and redraw the traditional bonds of family. The novel offers sharp insights into family and grief.