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Author Quotes: “I write anything serious by hand still... There’s that wonderful phrase of Wordsworth’s about “feeling along the heart,” and I think I write with the blood that goes to the ends of my fingers, and it is a very sensuous act. For that reason I could never learn to write what I think of as real writing with the cut-and-paste on the computer because I have to have a whole page in front of me that I wrote, like a piece of knitting.”
― A.S. Byatt, The Art of Fiction No.168 from the Paris Review
is reading The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt for November/December on January 19, 2012
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe… Olive Wellwood, a “spinning fairy in the attic” and mother of seven weaves dark magical tales about her children. The Children’s Book written by Booker Prize winning author A.S. Byatt, gives the reader a decadently dark novel loosely based on the life of children’s book writer Edith Nesbit and her husband, Hubert Bland, founding member of the socialist Fabian Society. The book spans the end of the Victorian era to the beginning of World War I from 1895-1919 during the age of fairy tales and utopian politics. Secrets abound behind the walls of Olive and Humphrey Wellwoods home,Todefright, nestled in the Kent countryside where nothing is as it seems. The book follows the lives of their family and friends and a variety of artists, writers, financiers, and free thinkers.
Creation and destruction are prominent themes throughout the book. If creative genius depends on never growing up and being a good parent does, hide the children fast, as the children are unintentionally betrayed by the adults that love them the most. As Yvonne Zipp, book reviewer for the Christian Science Monitor writes, “In the real world, children discover secrets that make the Big Bad Wolf look like the recipient of the Babysitter of the Year Award.”
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