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Encyclopedia > Alan Garner

Alan Garner (born Congleton October 17, 1934) is an English writer whose work is firmly rooted in his local Cheshire. His very early writing was marketed mainly for children and could be described as fantasy, though he himself rejects the label of "children's writer": Map sources for Congleton at grid reference SJ854628 Congleton is a town in the county of Cheshire in the north west of England, on the banks of the River Dane, and to the west of the Macclesfield Canal. ... October 17 is the 290th (in leap years the 291st) day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article is about the English county. ... // Basic characteristics There is some debate as to what constitutes childrens literature. ... For other definitions of fantasy see fantasy (psychology). ...

I do not write for children, but for myself. Adolescents read my books. By adolescence, I mean an arbitrary age somewhere between 10 and 18. This group of people is the most important of all.

His more recent work (Strandloper, Thursbitch) is more specifically intended for adult readers, while the earlier The Stone Book Quartet (which received the Phoenix Award in 1996) is poetic in style and inspiration. Garner pays particular attention to language, and strives to render the cadence of the Cheshire tongue in modern English. This he explains by the sense of anger he felt on reading "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight": the footnotes would not have been needed by his father. This and other aspects of his writing are the subject of Neil Philip's A Fine Anger, (Collins, 1981), which offers a detailed analysis of his work. The Stone Book Quartet is a collection of stories by Alan Garner about his family spanning over a century, which was awarded the Phoenix Award in 1996. ... The Phoenix Award is awarded annually to a book originally published in English twenty years previously which did not receive a major award at the time of its publication. ...


His most recent novel is Thursbitch. Other works have won the Guardian Award, the Carnegie Medal,and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, as well as the Chicago International Film Festival 1st Prize for his educational film "Images."


His collection of essays and public talks, The Voice That Thunders, contains much autobiographical material, as well as critical reflection upon folklore and language, literature and education, the nature of myth and time. Garner is an accomplished public speaker.


The author Philip Pullman is a strong admirer, and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is an acknowledged classic of children's literature. Philip Pullman Philip Pullman, (born October 19, 1946) is a British writer, educated at Exeter College, Oxford, who is the best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy of fantasy novels and a number of other books, purportedly for children, but attracting increasing attention by adult readers. ... The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is a fantasy story by the author Alan Garner, first published in 1960. ...


He was awarded the OBE for services to literature in the 2001 New Year's Honours list. Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions, in order of seniority: Knight or Dame Grand Cross... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals personal bravery, achievement or service to the United Kingdom. ...


Works

His best known works are:

He has also edited a collection of stories about fools, The Guizer (1975). The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is a fantasy story by the author Alan Garner, first published in 1960. ... The Moon of Gomrath is the sequel to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. ... Elidor is a novel by Alan Garner. ... The Owl Service (ISBN 0152017984) is a teenage fantasy novel by Alan Garner first published in 1967. ... Red Shift, by Alan Garner (1973), is a complex novel for teenagers and adults set in three intertwined time periods (Roman Britain, the siege of Barthomley Church, and a caravan site near the M6), spanning over a thousand years but one geographical area: south Cheshire, England. ... The Stone Book Quartet is a collection of stories by Alan Garner about his family spanning over a century, which was awarded the Phoenix Award in 1996. ... Strandloper is a novel by English writer Alan Garner, published in 1996. ... Thursbitch is a novel by English writer Alan Garner, named after the valley in the Pennines of England where the action occurs (also listed in the 1841 OS map as Thursbatch - the name means valley of the demon). It was published in 2003. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Guardian Unlimited Books | Authors | Garner, Alan (856 words)
Garner says he avoids fiction for fear of unconsciously adopting other writers' ideas, and went straight from reading comics to Latin and Greek.
He considers his spare style to be influenced by "the strength and directness of the sound of Latin, its economy of structure, and by the subtleties of thought required for the writing of Greek, where the language tends to hint rather than to be explicit".
Alan Garner was the first in his family to attend secondary school, but later dropped out of Oxford to write.
Review from In Dissent: Cooper Renner (1371 words)
Garner's reticence--which is cinematographic--forces the reader to leave off intellectualizing and analyzing and to enter the events unfolding in Garner's words.
But because Garner refuses to explain, and because what he is narrating is so unusual and original, the reader's empathy remains squarely with the characters in their sufferings and triumphs and not with the reader's personalization of them.
Garner's method is again cinematic, sharply limited to that which could easily be conveyed on film, by which Garner creates the same effect that moves through Strandloper: the reader must attend strictly to the events unfolding before his mind's eye.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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