From a feature in The Guardian:

‘A “Damascus-road moment” came when sitting on a tree stump at home looking at a wall built by his great-great-grandfather. “And I knew I had to do something that was as well done as that wall. As a writer I had to be true to that wall. When I went back to Oxford it had become a cold and irrelevant place for me.”‘


2 thoughts on “Alan Garner on writing

  1. I read Alan Garner when I was a child. My favourite, by far, was The Owl Service and I sometimes think my interest in vintage china is a result of this novel.

    1. I read him when I was a child, as well, and was a little surprised (and pleased) to find his adult novels; when I was little it hadn’t crossed my mind either that people might write for both adults and children, or that the writers I enjoyed might be still alive and writing once I grew up. I don’t know why, but I seem to have assumed that writers were either dead or very old (that is, I don’t remember thinking about it, but based on how surprised I was later to find out that various people were writing well after I grew up, that must have been how I thought). Next year I will teach the Owl Service in a class where I’m pretty sure no one will do the reading or listen to me much, so I figure I will just assign and talk about books I like, if I’m going to be talking to myself anyway.

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