Related to: 'Perfect Your Italian 2E: Teach Yourself'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Teach Yourself

Enjoy Italian Intermediate to Upper Intermediate Course

Sylvia Lymbery
Authors:
Sylvia Lymbery

Do you want to have more meaningful conversations in Italian?Do you want to feel comfortable in a variety of situations? Using authentic conversations between native speakers as a basis, this course will help you to improve and build upon the language you already have so that you develop your skills to a level where you can enjoy talking and understand what is said. You will be introduced to more colloquial Italian so you will sound more natural when speaking and gain confidence.Is this course for me? If you already know some Italian and want to take it further, this is the course for you. It is a great refresher course, as well as being an easy way to build upon and improve your existing Italian. Taking you from a good intermediate level (level B2 of the Common European Framework), this course helps you to progress up to C1 by offering:Carefully levelled and sequenced material - a solid path to build up your knowledge. Quality listening and reading input - day-to-day conversations but also speeches, interviews and newspaper articles. Fluency building - reach a level where you can discuss sophisticated ideas in Italian. Full of authentic texts and dialogues about complex subjects, this course covers a wide range of topics of the sort you will want to talk about when in Italy and teaches you the kind of everyday language and features of speech that will enable you to communicate with confidence and feel comfortable taking part in conversation with native speakers of Italian. The choice of material aims to give you something of the flavour of Italy today and each unit is based around a single theme with lively interviews and conversations on the accompanying recording. There are activities based on the interviews and texts to help you remember what you've learnt and put your knowledge into practice. The units are divided into sessions - to help you organize your learning time and break up the material into manageable chunks - and there are reminders throughout to refresh your memory of points you have learnt. Learn effortlessly with new, easy-to-read page design and interactive features: Not got much time? One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started. Author insights Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience. Grammar tips Easy-to-follow building blocks to give you a clear understanding. Useful vocabulary Easy to find and learn, to build a solid foundation for speaking. Dialogues Read and listen to everyday dialogues to help you speak and understand fast. Test yourself Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress. Extend your knowledge Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the culture and history of France. Try this Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Teach Yourself

Enjoy Intermediate Italian: Teach Yourself

Sylvia Lymbery
Authors:
Sylvia Lymbery

Do you want to have more meaningful conversations in Italian?Do you want to feel comfortable in a variety of situations? Using authentic conversations between native speakers as a basis, this course will help you to improve and build upon the language you already have so that you develop your skills to a level where you can enjoy talking and understand what is said. You will be introduced to more colloquial Italian so you will sound more natural when speaking and gain confidence.Is this course for me? If you already know some Italian and want to take it further, this is the course for you. It is a great refresher course, as well as being an easy way to build upon and improve your existing Italian. Taking you from a good intermediate level (level B2 of the Common European Framework), this course helps you to progress up to C1 by offering:Carefully levelled and sequenced material - a solid path to build up your knowledge. Quality listening and reading input - day-to-day conversations but also speeches, interviews and newspaper articles. Fluency building - reach a level where you can discuss sophisticated ideas in Italian. Full of authentic texts and dialogues about complex subjects, this course covers a wide range of topics of the sort you will want to talk about when in Italy and teaches you the kind of everyday language and features of speech that will enable you to communicate with confidence and feel comfortable taking part in conversation with native speakers of Italian. The choice of material aims to give you something of the flavour of Italy today and each unit is based around a single theme with lively interviews and conversations on the accompanying recording. There are activities based on the interviews and texts to help you remember what you've learnt and put your knowledge into practice. The units are divided into sessions - to help you organize your learning time and break up the material into manageable chunks - and there are reminders throughout to refresh your memory of points you have learnt. Learn effortlessly with new, easy-to-read page design and interactive features: Not got much time? One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started. Author insights Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience. Grammar tips Easy-to-follow building blocks to give you a clear understanding. Useful vocabulary Easy to find and learn, to build a solid foundation for speaking. Dialogues Read and listen to everyday dialogues to help you speak and understand fast. Test yourself Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress. Extend your knowledge Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the culture and history of France. Try this Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Teach Yourself

Enjoy Italian Intermediate to Upper Intermediate Course

Sylvia Lymbery
Authors:
Sylvia Lymbery

Alex Loyd

Alex Loyd, PhD holds doctorates in Psychology and Naturopathic Medicine. His search for a cure for his wife's depression led to the discovery of The Healing Code. Dr. Loyd is a regular speaker and has appeared on TV and radio.

Anthony Riches

Anthony Riches began his lifelong interest in war and soldiers when he first heard his father's stories about World War II. This led to a degree in Military Studies at Manchester University. He began writing the story that would become Wounds of Honour after a visit to Housesteads in 1996. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children.www.anthonyriches.comwww.twitter.com/AnthonyRiches

Anthony Trevelyan

Anthony Trevelyan was born in Lancashire. He read English at Trinity College, Oxford, before going on to further studies at Lancaster University. Currently he lives with his wife near Manchester, where he takes part in performance events such as Flim Nite and First Draft. He works as a teacher of English and Creative Writing at a sixth form college in Stockport. His first novel, The Weightless World, was published by Galley Beggar Press in 2015 and was longlisted for the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize.

David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is a broadcaster and naturalist whose television career is now in its seventh decade. After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge and a brief stint in publishing, he joined the BBC. Since the launch of his famous Zoo Quest series in 1954 he has surveyed almost every aspect of life on earth and brought it to the viewing public. His latest programme, Planet Earth II, was the most-watched nature documentary of all time.

David Bramwell

David is the creator of the bestselling Cheeky Guides and author of travel memoir The No9 Bus to Utopia, ("packed with wisdom, humour and pathos." Tom Hodgkinson, Idler), which has since evolved into an award-winning one man show, Radio 3 documentary and TEDx talk. David is a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 and has made programs on subjects ranging from time travel to Ivor Cutler. In 2011 he won a Sony Silver Award for The Haunted Moustache. He is a regular contributor to Ernest Journal, co-hosts the Odditorium podcast and has written books on alcohol and hard words for Harper Collins. "A remarkable storyteller." (Radio Times).

Davina Langdale

Davina Langdale studied Zoology at Bristol University, and worked with 93 chimpanzees and a hippo in Northern Zambia. She returned to the UK to take a postgraduate diploma in journalism at the London College of Printing, and after a brief stint in that field she realised that fiction was her true love. The Brittle Star is her first novel.

Denise Robins

Denise Robins was born in 1897. Known as the Queen of Romance, she wrote over 160 novels, selling more than one hundred million copies worldwide. Robins' characters are as varied as her themes - the protagonists ranging from eighteen to middle age - while the wonderful variety of settings includes London, Paris, the Swiss mountains, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Morocco. She died at the age of eighty-eight on 1 May 1985.

Fran Cooper

Fran Cooper grew up in London before reading English at Cambridge and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She spent three years in Paris writing a PhD about travelling eighteenth-century artists, and currently works in the curatorial department of a London museum. These Dividing Walls is her first novel.

Gerald Seymour

Gerald Seymour exploded onto the literary scene in 1975 with the massive bestseller HARRY'S GAME. The first major thriller to tackle the modern troubles in Northern Ireland, it was described by Frederick Forsyth as 'like nothing else I have ever read' and it changed the landscape of the British thriller forever.Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years. He covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland. He has been a full-time writer since 1978.Gerald was interviewed recently on Andrew Marr's Sleuths, Spies and Sorcerers on BBC TV.

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is one of the most influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She's the author of many books, including the New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following, in print and online; her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, in more than 35 languages; and on her popular daily blog, gretchenrubin.com, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also has an award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.gretchenrubin.com | twitter.com/gretchenrubin | facebook.com/GretchenRubin | instagram.com/gretchenrubin

Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde spent twenty years in the film business before debuting on the New York Time Bestseller list with 'The Eyre Affair' in 2001. Since then he has written another twelve novels. His next book, 'Early Riser', will be published in the UK and USA early in 2016.Fforde's writing is an eclectic mix of genres, which might be described as a joyful blend of Comedy-SF-thriller-Crime-Satire. He freely admits that he fascinated not just by books themselves, but by the way we read and what we read, and his reinvigoration of tired genres have won him many enthusiastic supporters across the world.Amongst Fforde's output are police procedurals featuring nursery rhyme characters; a series for Young Adults about Magic and Dragons set in a shabby world of failing magical powers, and 'Shades of Grey' a post-apocalyptic dystopia set three world orders into the future, where social hierarchy is based on the colours you can see. His next book, 'Early Riser', will be published in the UK and USA early in 2016.Fforde failed his Welsh Nationality Test by erroneously identifying Gavin Henson as a TV chef, but continues to live and work in his adopted nation despite this setback. He has a Welsh wife, two welsh daughters and a welsh dog.Visit Jasper's website, www.jasperfforde.com, find him on Facebook, www.facebook.com/jasperffordebooks, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasperfforde.

Jo Keeling

Jo is the editor and publisher of Ernest Journal, an awardwinning digital and printed magazine for the curious and adventurous. It is a guide for those who appreciate true craftsmanship, slow adventure and eccentric history. She worked on the launch team for Countryfile magazine, launched and edited Pretty Nostalgic magazine and co-authored Wild Guide: Devon, Cornwall and South West. She writes regularly for Countryfile, The Simple Things,The Guardian, Independent and greentraveller.co.uk. She has hosted Bristol's Biggest Indoor Picnic and collaborated on events at Wilderness Festival, Port Eliot and Eroica Britannia.

Joe Cross

Joe Cross' personal story of transformation was chronicled in the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which has been seen by more than 20 million people worldwide. The incredible response to screenings of the film inspired Joe to create Reboot with Joe, making the tools, information and support available to enable anyone to reclaim their wellbeing. His second film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 charts the next stage of Joe's journey of health. He is the author of The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet and The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Recipe Book, and spends time between Australia and the US, always with a juice in hand.

John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

Levison Wood

Levison Wood is an award-winning author, explorer and photographer who specialises in documenting people and cultures in remote regions and post-conflict zones. His work has taken him around the world leading expeditions on five continents and he is an elected fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club.Levison's second book, Walking the Himalayas, was voted Adventure Travel Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards and his other books, Walking the Nile and Walking the Americas, were both Sunday Times bestsellers. He has presented several critically acclaimed documentaries including From Russia to Iran: Crossing the Wild Frontier where he re-traced part of his Silk Road adventures in a four-part series for Channel 4.

Lindsey Davis

Historical novelist Lindsey Davis is best known for her novels set in Ancient Rome, including the much-loved Marcus Didius Falco series, although she has also written about the English Civil War, including in 2014 A Cruel Fate, a book for the Quick Reads literacy initiative. Her examination of the paranoid reign of the roman emperor Domitian began with Master and God, a standalone novel, leading to her new series about Flavia Albia, set in that dark period.Her books are translated and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many awards include the Premio Colosseo (from the city of Rome) and the Crime Writers' Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. Most recently she was the inaugural winner of the Barcino (Barcelona) International Historical Novel Prize.

Marco Vichi

Marco Vichi was born in Florence in 1957. The author of twelve novels and two collections of short stories, he has also edited crime anthologies, written screenplays, music lyrics and for radio, and collaborated on and directed various projects for humanitarian causes.His novel Death in Florence won the Scerbanenco, Rieti, Camaiore and Azzeccagarbugli prizes in Italy. Marco Vichi lives in the Chianti region of Tuscany.You can find out more at www.marcovichi.it.