Children's books - from Narnia to The Hobbit - are celebrated in this enlightened examination of the joys of childhood reading.
Fairy tales and Where the Wild Things Are, The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books, Little House on the Prairie and The Earthsea Trilogy. What would you find if you went back and re-read your favourite books from childhood? Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness, in this widely celebrated memoir of a boy who retreats into books, faced with a tragedy in his family.
'A beautifully composed and wholly original memoir, sounding the classics of children's literature.' David Sexton, Evening Standard
'Exuberant and serious, funny and sophisticated, this memoir of reading and childhood is a delight.' Andrea Ashworth
Francis Spufford, a former Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year (1997), has edited two acclaimed literary anthologies and a collection of essays about the history of technology. His first book, I May Be Some Time, won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of 1996, the Banff Mountain Book Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. His second, The Child That Books Built, gave Neil Gaiman 'the peculiar feeling that there was now a book I didn't need to write'. His third, Backroom Boys, was called 'as nearly perfect as makes no difference' by the Daily Telegraph and was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. His fourth, Red Plenty was called 'odd, brilliant and crazily brave' in the Evening Standard, longlisted for the Orwell Prize and translated into eight languages. His latest book, Unapologetic, was described by Nick Hornby as 'an incredibly smart, challenging, and beautiful book'. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge.