The Hitchcock Blonde reads Rosemary Sutcliff

In the summer of 2007 The Hitchcock Blonde was  re-reading her ” favourite childhood authors: Rosemary Sutcliff, Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, Ursula LeGuin. Along with Wolf Brother, they share certain themes: the buildungsroman grail quest, the primacy of animals and nature, the value of a sharply sensed moment in a great sweep of time and place. They are properly epic, humbling and exhilerating.

But above all, these tales are rolled out in a cool, deep river of action. There is so little self-indulgence, because kids are the most exacting, most selfish readers. They have no time for a book written to please anyone but themselves, certainly not an author or a critic. Awkwardness is too familiar and raw a feeling at that age to want to grapple with it in books. Pain, yes, ambiguity, yes, but not wanking about with words.

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

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