Alan Garner is a prize winning author whose novels are not only firmly established as classics of English literature but are also loved and treasured by both children and adults.
His family roots are in Cheshire where he was born, and the area around Alderley Edge where he lives now, and that area has greatly influenced his writing. Many of his works, including The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, and more recently Thursbitch draw on the legends and geography of Alderley Edge.
His inspiration has come from Alderley Edge’s history, mythology and archaeology and from his own local explorations. He is particularly interested in the language of the area (which he describes as ‘North-West Mercian Middle English’) and has tried to reproduce its cadences in modern English.
His first three books - The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath and Elidor – were fantasy, and marketed for children. However he has also written acclaimed novels that are aimed at adults such as Thursbitch (2003).
His fourth book, The Owl Service (1968), was also aimed at children. It won both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal and established him as one of the UK’s leading writers.
The Owl Service was also made into an 8 episode TV series. It was produced in 1969 and televised in the winter of 1969-1970 and Alan Garner himself wrote the scripts. It was the first fully-scripted colour production by Granada Television and was filmed almost entirely on location in Wales. It remains one of the most haunting children’s TV series ever made. An audio dramatisation of The Owl Service was also produced and transmitted by BBC Radio 4 in 2000. Many of his other works have been adapted for television and in 1981 he himself made a film, Image and Landscape, which won first prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.
His other novels include Strandloper (1996) and Thursbitch (2003); he has also written collections of short stories – The Stone Book received the Phoenix Award from the Children’s Literature Association (USA) in 1996 – and The Voice That Thunders, a collection of essays and lectures published in 1997. In 2001, Alan Garner was awarded the OBE for services to children’s literature.
|The Weirdstone of Brisingamen||20 January 2011|