Robin Oliveira

Robin Oliveira grew up just outside Albany, New York in Loudonville. She holds a B.A. in Russian, and studied at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow, Russia. She worked for many years as a Registered Nurse, specializing in Critical Care and Bone Marrow Transplant. In 2006 Robin received an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2007 she was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship for her debut novel-in-progress, MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER, then entitled The Last Beautiful Day. MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER also received the 2011 Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the 2010 American Historical Fiction Honorable Mention from the Langum Charitable Trust. The book was chosen as an all-city read for Schenectady, NY, Roswell, GA, Kirkland, WA and as the 2015 all-state read for Iowa. Her second book, I ALWAYS LOVED YOU, was published by Viking in 2014. And in 2018, Viking published her latest, WINTER SISTERS. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Euphony and Numero Cinq. Robin is the former fiction editor at the literary magazine upstreet and a former assistant editor at Narrative Magazine. She lives outside of Seattle, Washington with her husband, Andrew Oliveira.


Oliveira (My Name Is Mary Sutter) reunites readers with doctor Mary Sutter in this galvanic tale set in the winter of 1879. After a deadly blizzard engulfs the northeastern U.S., Mary, a former Civil War surgeon turned practicing doctor in Albany, N.Y., sets out to find two missing girls whose parents died in the storm. Mary is resolute in her mission to find the girls, and even after Albany police give up their official search, she perseveres. Meanwhile, Mary’s mother, Amelia, and niece, Elizabeth, return from Paris, where Elizabeth had gone to study violin. Upon returning to a devastated Albany, Elizabeth mourns the loss of the missing children, who are now presumed dead, along with her dream of becoming a professional musician, which seems out of reach after her training abroad ended poorly. When the shocking fate of the girls is suddenly revealed, Elizabeth, seeing an opportunity to help others recover from the horrible discovery, takes out her violin. Mary approaches the matter as a doctor, collecting evidence with the help of her family to understand what happened to the girls. Their dramatic investigation culminates in a courtroom battle that shakes the entire city. Oliveira’s beautiful, expertly researched novel showcases the lives of women overcoming societal constraints and living fearlessly.


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