Literary Anniversaries: 26 September

“And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don’t even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in you life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something.”

“And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don’t even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in you life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something.”

Today’s birthday author is Mark Haddon, born in 1962.

Haddon wrote his first novel, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time (2003) as a book for adults, and yet it won the Whitbread Prize for children’s fiction and I believe is accessible and relevant for people of all ages.  It’s in my top-50 all-time books, and I can never re-read or teach it without being totally  immersed and caring deeply for the narrator, Christopher Boone – a 15-year old lad with a real talent for maths and detection, a complicated home-life … oh, and autism.

The title is also taken from the Sherlock Holmes short story, Silver Blaze, which makes me very happy!

I’ve seen the brilliant and really moving stage adaptation of the novel twice.  If you get the chance, make sure you do, too.  The depiction of Christopher’s reaction to everyday situations through the lens of his autism is superb.

It genuinely is one of those novels which will make you laugh AND cry, so if you haven’t read it yet, give it a go.

And click here to find out about Haddon’s reading day – he throws away 75% of everything he writes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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English Teacher; Shakespeare Geek; Science Fiction Nerd; Adult Fan Of Lego (AFOL); Scrabble Warrior; Television Refusenik. Above all, READER ...

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