Related to: 'Gypsy Boy on the Run'

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.

John Murray

Superteams

Matthew Syed
Authors:
Matthew Syed
Hodder Paperbacks

Dear Michael, Love Dad

Iain Maitland
Authors:
Iain Maitland

'wonderful, moving, humorous ... extremely poignant' Charlie Mortimer, Dear Lupin'Iain's love for his son shines through every sentence of this affecting account, as does his guilt. He blames himself for being unable to demonstrate or verbalise his affection ... This is a wonderfully entertaining and moving book, with lessons for every parent.' Daily Mail'A moving read - honest, funny and sad' Woman and Home'Raising the issue of men's mental health is important ... loving and well meant mix of letters and commentary.' ExpressDear Michael, Moving your whatnots et al into the flat has put paid to any improvements in my back. Still, at least it's done now. Your mother is already worrying how you'll cope and is at work on reams of notes on all sorts of matters from how to tel if meat has gone off to washing whites. Smell it and wear black is my advice. When Iain Maitland's eldest son left home for university he wrote regularly to him: funny, curmudgeonly letters chronicling their family life and giving Michael unsolicited and hopeless advice on everything from car maintenance to women. He never expected a reply, they were just his way of continuing their relationship. What Iain didn't realise was that away from home his beloved boy was suffering from depression and anorexia. Only much later did it become apparent to Iain and his wife Tracey just how oblivious they had been, and for how very long. Told through Iain's letters and the unfolding truth of Michael's situation, Dear Michael, Love Dad is a frank and moving account of how we may unwittingly fail our loved ones, despite our best intentions. Above all it offers the hope of reparation and expresses the unbreakable bond between a father and son.

Hodder & Stoughton

The War of the Flowers

Tad Williams
Authors:
Tad Williams

A masterpiece of the imagination, THE WAR OF THE FLOWERS is a truly epic novel which once again pushes the boundaries of fantasy fiction into new and unexplored territory. In the great city, in the dimly lit office of an impossibly tall building, two creatures meet. Gold changes hand, and the master of the House of Hellebore gives an order: 'War is coming. The child must die.' In our own world, a young man discovers a manuscript written by his great uncle. It seems to be a novel - a strange fairy tale of fantastic creatures and magical realms. But it is written as a diary ... as if the events were real ... as if his uncle had journeyed to another world. For the young man, the fantasy is about to become reality.

Teach Yourself

MBA In A Week

Alan Finn
Authors:
Alan Finn

MBA In A Week is a simple and straightforward way to get the edge in business, giving you everything you really need to know in just seven short chapters. Every day it focuses on one area of MBA study, from global business, finance and accounting, to strategy, marketing and operations management.This book distils the most practical business insights of an MBA into easy-to-digest bite-sized chunks, giving you a basic knowledge and understanding of the key concepts, together with practical and thought-provoking exercises. Whether you choose to read it in a week or in a single sitting, MBA In A Week is your fastest route to success:- Sunday: Global business pressures and change- Monday: Finance, economics and accounting- Tuesday: Entrepreneurship, ethics and social responsibility- Wednesday: Strategy and marketing- Thursday: Operations management - Friday: Organizational behaviour and human resources management- Saturday: Research and change managementABOUT THE SERIESIn A Week books are for managers, leaders, and business executives who want to succeed at work. From negotiating and content marketing to finance and social media, the In A Week series covers the business topics that really matter and that will help you make a difference today. Written in straightforward English, each book is structured as a seven-day course so that with just a little work each day, you will quickly master the subject. In a fast-changing world, this series enables readers not just to get up to speed, but to get ahead.

Hodder & Stoughton

Paradoxology

Krish Kandiah
Authors:
Krish Kandiah

The Christian faith is full of apparent paradoxes:- a compassionate God who sanctions genocide- an all-powerful God who allows horrific suffering- a God who owns everything yet demands so much from his followers- a God who is distant and yet present at the same timeMany of us have big questions that the Christian faith seems to leave unanswered. So we push them to the back of our minds, for fear of destabilizing our beliefs. But leaving these questions unexamined is neither healthy for us, nor honouring to God. Rather than shying away from the difficult questions, we need to face them head on.What if the tension between apparently opposing doctrines is exactly where faith comes alive? What if this ancient faith has survived so long not in spite of but precisely because of these apparent contradictions? What if it is in the difficult parts of the Bible that God is most clearly revealed? Paradoxology makes a bold new claim: that the paradoxes that seem like they ought to undermine belief are actually the heart of our vibrant faith, and that it is only by continually wrestling with them - rather than trying to pin them down or push them away - that we can really move forward, individually and together.

Hodder & Stoughton

Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Children of Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

Since childhood they have been inseparable friends: Lorn, Lewis, Ruth and Rachel. The close-knit community of Rhanna has watched them grow up - playing and fighting together, seeing each other through the bad times. But now they are grown and they face a harsher world, and all the problems of love and loss for which their tranquil Hebridean upbringing cnanot prepare them. Yet all four know that whatever might happen, however far they drift apart, they are still and always children of Rhanna.

Hodder & Stoughton

Return To Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Rhanna at War

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

To the warm, tight-knit community of Rhanna, the little island in the peaceful Hebrides seemed remote from the horrors of war. For Shona McKenzie, coming home on leave would give her the chance to recover from the nightmare of the bombing, and from her broken heart. Then the German bomber crashed - and the islanders realized that Rhanna's lonely beauty gave no protection against the chill reality of battle. They were indeed an island at war. And Shona discovered that not all battles are between nations, the fiercest are those between lovers.

Hodder & Stoughton

Song of Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Among Friends

Alexandra Raife
Authors:
Alexandra Raife

The fifth book in the saga-series set in the "big county", Perthshire.In the two years since the loss of her husband and twin daughters in a fatal car crash, Louise has avoided facing up to the full extent of her bereavement by caring for her husband's elderly great-aunt. But now Aunt Bea, too, is dead and Louise is robbed of both a dear friend and a home. Caring is what Louise does best, and - with the proviso that she will not work in households with children - she joins an agency that specialises in supplying temporary domestic help. The demands made upon her, and the homes in which she finds herself, are varied and occasionally bizarre, but in confronting them she makes friends and discovers self-confidence.

Hodder & Stoughton

Drumveyn

Alexandra Raife
Authors:
Alexandra Raife
Hodder & Stoughton

Grianan

Alexandra Raife
Authors:
Alexandra Raife
Hodder & Stoughton

Belonging

Alexandra Raife
Authors:
Alexandra Raife

When Rebecca returns to her family home Ardlonach, she solves everyone's problems - including her own. An encounter she never expected to have prompts Rebecca to abandon her high-powered, successful life in Edinburgh to seek refuge in Ardlonach, the family home on the West Coast of Scotland. But Rebecca doesn't find the peaceful haven she expects. The beautiful house, now run as a hotel by the cousin who owns it, is in turmoil - and full of people with more immediate problems than Rebecca's own. Never one to resist a challenge, she puts her future on hold and sets about making the venture a success. In doing so, Rebecca achieves at last a sense of belonging.

Hodder & Stoughton

Gypsy Girl

Rosie Mckinley
Authors:
Rosie Mckinley

A life lived on the road and a heart that will always belong thereImagine being born into a world where communities are constantly on the move, but freedom is not a birthright. Rosie grew up travelling all over England and Ireland in her family's caravan. She had an idyllic childhood roaming fields and meadows with her younger brothers and sisters - free from the trappings of modern life, but restricted by the expectations of her culture.When Rosie was 14, the family's happiness was shattered when her grandfather - who was loved and respected by the whole community - was killed in a tragic accident. Suddenly everything in Rosie's life unravelled and she was forced to abandon the traditional way of life she loved. Her family fell apart in grief and Rosie tried her best to take care of her younger siblings and hold the family together.Eventually though life at home became unbearable and Rosie met Stevie, a traveller boy who promised her a different kind of life. Sadly though, Stevie was battling his own demons and Rosie's journey to freedom had only just begun...

John Murray

Mistaken

Neil Jordan
Authors:
Neil Jordan
Teach Yourself

Freud: The Key Ideas

Ruth Snowden
Authors:
Ruth Snowden

Reading the complete works of Sigmund Freud would take more time than most of us have to spare. Freud - the Key Ideas condenses all the information you need about the life and work of the great man into one book. With clear explanations and examples drawn from Freud's own cases you will soon have a solid understanding of the main concepts, from psychosexual development to dream analysis.NOT GOT MUCH TIME?One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.AUTHOR INSIGHTSLots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.TEST YOURSELFTests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.EXTEND YOUR KNOWLEDGEExtra online articles at www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of Freud.FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBERQuick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.TRY THISInnovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Hodder Paperbacks

Gypsy Boy

Mikey Walsh
Authors:
Mikey Walsh

**SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH**'It was a revelation. Moving, terrifying, funny and brilliant. I shall never forget it - an amazing achievement' STEPHEN FRY'Brash and frightening and funny' NEW YORK TIMES* * * * * * The Sunday Times bestselling Gypsy Boy was the first commercial memoir written by someone on the inside of the notoriously secretive culture of the Romany Gypsies.MIKEY WAS BORN into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a closeted community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution Gypsies are wary of outsiders and if you choose to leave you can never come back. This is something Mikey knows only too well. Growing up, he rarely went to school, and seldom mixed with non-Gypsies. The caravan and camp were his world.But although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture, his family's legacy was bittersweet with a hidden history of grief and abuse. Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonising decision - to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere he could truly belong.Mikey's amazing story is continued in the sequel Gypsy Boy on the Run.

Hodder & Stoughton

Praire Home Christmas

Garrison Keillor
Authors:
Garrison Keillor

Read with his trademark delivery, Garrison Keillor tells of the ups and downs of small-town life in Lake Wobegon at Christmas time. Now on CD for the first time, this classic radio broadcast will warm your heart and fill you with Yuletide spirit wherever you are.

Mikey Walsh

Mikey Walsh was one of the first Romany Gypsies ever to write a book. He grew up living in a caravan on sites across the UK, and had hardly any schooling. He taught himself to read and write, and his first book Gypsy Boy published in 2008 and became a Number 1 Bestseller. It sold all over the world and a film adaptation is in the works as a joint production between BBC Films and Bowery & Bond.Mikey's second book, Gypsy Boy on the Run follows Mikey as he leaves the Gypsy camp, and takes his first steps in to the real - Gorgia - world, to find a place to belong.Mikey has had overwhelming support from all over the world since the publication of Gypsy Boy, including Stephen Fry who tweeted, 'It was a revelation. Moving, terrifying, funny and brilliant. I shall never forget it - an amazing achievement'. Attitude magazine called it 'the best memoir since Running with Scissors' and even Dermot O'Leary and Dannii Minogue have reviewed it.