Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Alan Garner

Nothing to do with Mongolia (except perhaps through a loose shamanism connection) or indeed crime fiction, but - well, it's my blog so I'll talk about what I want.  I had a fascinating evening last Friday listening to a talk delivered by one of my literary heroes, the great Alan Garner.  Garner is probably still commonly thought of as a writer for children - and, given that his first four books constitute four classic children's novels, that's probably fair enough.  But his more recent work, from 'Red Shift' to 'Strandloper' and 'Thursbitch', explores territory largely untouched by any other novelist - history, myth, identity, landscape - in a prose of extraordinary intensity.  Friday's talk - delivered in the atmospheric shadow of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope in the heart of Garner's Cheshire, as the rain beat down around us - was characteristic of his work.  It ranged from personal reminiscences about the creative process, through family history to archaeology and mythology.  Impossible to summarise, but if you want a taste, it's worth tracking down Garner's sadly out-of-print book of essays, 'The Voice that Thunders'


1. Peter said...

I don't know your man Garner, but I recently posted a comment about the Irish writer Eoin Colfer and one of his detective novels for children. It was itneresting to see how Colfer made the novel interesting to adults (well, to me, anyway) while maintaining a convincing child's world at the same time.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

2. Michael Walters said...

My children have been great fans of Colfer, and I enjoyed the audiobook version of one of the Artimis Fowl books we listened to endlessly while driving through France last summer! Must give him a proper go.

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