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Half a Creature from the Sea A Life in Stories

Written by David Almond

Illustrated by Eleanor Taylor

Half a Creature from the Sea A Life in Stories Synopsis

An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from a master storyteller and Hans Christian Andersen Award winning author, inspired by his childhood in the north-east of England. A diverse collection of stories from the author of the internationally award-winning Skellig, deftly interwoven with illuminating autobiographical pieces on the inspirations behind the fiction. David Almond says of this unique volume, Stories on the page are so beautifully neat. All that lovely black print; those lovely straight lines and paragraphs and pages. But stories are living things, creatures that move and grow in the imaginations of writer and reader. They must be solid and touchable, like the land, and must have fluid half-known depths, like the sea. These stories take place in a real world - but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies.

Half a Creature from the Sea A Life in Stories Press Reviews

The tale-behind-the-tale preludes are intriguing-perhaps especially to big fans and those interested in the writing process-but the stories themselves shine brightest here. Taylor's illustrations, sometimes cartoonish, sometimes more abstract and moody, cast the Almondine experience in yet another new light. This is powerful, top-notch storytelling from Almond, who seems himself to be the titular half a creature from the sea, in that he, as ever, fluidly blends past and future, the living and the dead, the ordinary and the transcendent. * Kirkus Reviews * An absolute treat . . . he writes sparingly and beautifully. . . fiction to treasure * Books for Keeps * A powerful collection of stories, interleaved by Almond's memories of the places he grew up in. It's a meditation on the power of stories . . . extraordinary dreamy atmosphere and lyrical evocation of life by the sea. * Children's Books Ireland Recommended Read * If anything will encourage teenagers to start writing, it is this superb masterclass in how setting, dialogue and character can convey powerful emotions in a few words. * Daily Mail * The autobiographical notes are stories in themselves, encouraging young writers in their reminder that we all have the material for fiction a short memory away. . . As well as the living roots of the stories, the prefaces reveal where, how or why Almond wrote them, and that some have seen many drafts and may never be finished: more encouragement. * Observer * The work of a writer of great power, and a living insight for teenage readers into the power of imagination and the way that stories grow from seed to fruit * The School Librarian * This coming of age collections of stories inspired by Almond's childhood in the north east, which of course is so prevalent through his work. * The Bookseller *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406365597
Publication date: 7th April 2016
Author: David Almond
Illustrator: Eleanor Taylor
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 240 pages

About David Almond

David Almond is the acclaimed author of many award-winning novels for children such as Skellig, Kit's Wilderness and My Name Is Mina, and has more recently collaborated with artists Polly Dunbar, Dave McKean and Oliver Jeffers on fiction for younger readers. David's books sell all over the world, and in 2011 he was the recipient of the auspicious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in Hexham, Northumberland; for more info visit www.davidalmond.com Eleanor Taylor studied illustration at Norwich School of Art and Design, then communication art and design at the Royal College of Art; while studying she won the ...

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