You are viewing this site in an old browser or Internet Explorer compatiblity mode.
You can continue to use our site but it may not work properly or display correctly.
add to basket
Successfully added to your bag

Linda Cardillo

Linda Cardillo

Stories of the search for connection and belonging

Connect with Linda

Linda's top writing themes

About Linda

As a child, Thursdays were my favourite day because that’s when the Bookmobile came to my school. It was in the Bookmobile that I discovered my earliest favourite books: The Secret Garden, Little Women, and the Anne of Green Gables series. When I was twelve, I won a dictionary from the library as a prize for an essay I wrote about books being a magic carpet that took me anywhere I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was in 6th grade. In high school, I confided my passion for writing in a letter to John Knowles, the author of A Separate Peace. He wrote me back, encouraging me to continue writing – a message that I cherished for years. As a student at Tufts University, I began to write short stories and started to keep a journal – a discipline instilled in me by my advisor and teacher, Jesper Rosenmeier, a Danish scholar of American literature who introduced me to Jonathan Edwards, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman and Faulkner.

Although I held in my heart the dream of writing the Great American Novel, I was also brought up to know that I had to be 'practical' and make a living. I wrote insurance policies and worked with mentally disabled children until I found a job as a secretary in the college division of a venerable Boston publishing house (barely passing the typing test). Within a year I had moved into an editorial position, and began supervising the editing and production of college textbooks in the sciences and social sciences. Although it still wasn’t the Great American Novel, I got to immerse myself in American intellectual and social history.

I left publishing to attend Harvard Business School, where I learned how to think on my feet, develop a marketing plan and write comedy for the annual B-School student musical, in which I performed in a platinum blonde wig while seven months pregnant. After earning my MBA, getting divorced and giving birth, I became circulation manager of a new magazine and got a crash course in magazine marketing. Unfortunately, I also crashed head-on into my boss and got fired a year after the magazine’s launch. Around this time I got an invitation to my tenth college reunion, signed up to attend and fell in love with a man I hadn’t seen since freshman year. One Sunday, on an excursion to a children’s zoo my son got carsick and threw up. This wonderful man calmly got him out of the car, cleaned him up and took him for a walk in the fresh air, and I knew I had a keeper.

We married, bought a house in the hills of central New Jersey and began to build a life together. I found work in Manhattan, writing on marketing and corporate policy for a business think tank for several years, and then moved to Germany – my husband’s birthplace – with my family. While living in Europe, I received an unexpected gift in the form of a cache of my grandparents’ love letters, that became the seeds for my first novel, Dancing on Sunday Afternoons.

I’ve been married for thirty years to the aforementioned 'keeper' who's a brilliant scientist and sailor. I’m also mother to three children of whom I am enormously proud. I love to cook and am happiest when the twelve chairs around my dining room table are filled with people enjoying my food. I speak four languages, some better than others. I play the piano every night – sometimes by myself and sometimes in an improvisational duet with my youngest son. I do The New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in ink, a practice I learned from my mother, who also passed on to me her love of opera, which filled my home when I was a child. I once climbed Mt. Kenya and have very curly hair.