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Powsels and Thrums

By Alan Garner

A national treasure‘ NEIL GAIMAN

I salute him with the most heartfelt respect and admiration’ PHILIP PULLMAN

One of Britain’s greatest writersFINANCIAL TIMES

In this lyrical and revelatory memoir, Alan Garner, Booker shortlisted author of Treacle Walker, reflects on the lifetime of learning and experience that has led him to become one of the best loved British writers of our time.

In dazzling essays, poetry and stories, we trace the line of his life: from a working-class childhood in the landscape of Cheshire during World War II, through a grammar school education and on to the University of Oxford, and then home to see if he could become what he most desired: a writer.

We see the serendipitous moments that drove his course, from coming-of-age in a period of great cultural change, to crossing paths with a famous mathematician while out long-distance running, to the fateful day he chanced across Blackden, the medieval hall, miraculously located next to the giant telescope at Jodrell Bank, that was to become his lasting home and the setting for Treacle Walker.

We also hear the influences and ideas that have shaped his work: his Grandfather Joseph and family of craftsmen; the history, folklore and ancient landscape of Cheshire; a profound love of storytelling across the ages and a sense of wonder for the ineffable magic of creativity.

As Garner tells us, a lifetime of working with a pen produces the powsels and thrums of research, imagination and story. These oddments can be shaped into something more than its parts: a vivid tapestry of a creative life that will inspire any reader, and what a celebration it is.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 10 Oct 2024
Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-0-00-872521-1
Price: £14.99 (Export Price) , £14.99, €None
Alan Garner is an English novelist best known for his fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. He was born in Cheshire in 1934 and his childhood was spent in Alderley Edge, where his family has lived for more than four hundred years. His fourth book, The Owl Service, won The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, and was made into a TV series. It has established itself as a contemporary classic and Garner as a writer of distinction. In 2022, his novel Treacle Walker was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He was awarded the OBE in 2001 for his services to literature.

Praise for Alan Garner: -

'His work has a symphonic quality unique in fiction' The Times -

'Garner is his own man … taut, powerful, credible' Penelope Lively, Independent -

”'A unique genius” - New Statesman

'The words Garner chooses, carves, inserts into his prose are perfect. He deploys short, accurate words better than anyone else writing in English today, and he makes it look simple' Neil Gaiman -

”'His is a consummate artist's vision that matches landscape and people and story'” - Ralph Elliott, Labrys 7

”'Alan Garner's themes are huge, urgent, compassionate, his voice distinguished by clarity, compression, precision, depth of feeling and sharpness of thought” - Neil Philip, A Fine Anger: A Critical Introduction to the Work of Alan Garner