Related to: 'Maurice'

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Longest Journey

E M Forster
Authors:
E M Forster
Hodder & Stoughton

Where Angels Fear to Tread

E M Forster
Authors:
E M Forster
Hodder & Stoughton

Aspects of the Novel

E M Forster
Authors:
E M Forster
Hodder & Stoughton

A Room With a View

E M Forster
Authors:
E M Forster

Set partly in Florence, partly in the Surrey hills, A ROOM WITH A VIEW depicts the struggle for the soul of its enchanting heroine, Lucy Honeychuch. Forster's brilliant social comedy examines the English abroad and at home in the country as Lucy's sincere and passionate feelings are contrasted with her prudish cousin Charlotte, her supercilious fiancé and the unconventional Emersons.A Room with a View, originally published in 1908, was made into a Merchant/Ivory film starring Denholm Elliot, Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham-Carter, Judi Dench and Daniel Day Lewis.

Hodder & Stoughton

Howards End

E M Forster
Authors:
E M Forster
Hodder & Stoughton

A Passage to India

E M Forster
Authors:
E M Forster

A Passage to India sparked such political fury that enraged Anglo-Indians threw copies into the Indian Ocean, while in England it helped create a climate of opinion which would take the British out of India in less than a generation.It won the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and has sold over a million copies since its first publication in 1924.Adela Quested, visiting from England, shows an interest in Indian ways of life that is frowned upon by the British community. What happens to Adela at the infamous Marabar caves, and the subsequent ordeal of the charming young Dr Aziz, is wrought into a tense drama which throws Chandrapore into a fever of racial tension.

Alice Ozma

Alice Ozma, a Rowan University graduate, lives surrounded by world-class libraries and bookstores in historical Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about literature, education and working with children. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/aliceozma, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AliceOzma and find out more about her and The Reading Promise at www.makeareadingpromise.com.

Baroness Orczy

Baroness Orczy was the daughter of a musician. Educated in Paris and Brussels, she then studied art in London, where she exhibited some of her work at the Royal Academy. THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL was the first success in her long writing career which encompassed both plays and novels.

Compton Mackenzie

Sir Compton Mackenzie OBE (1883-1972) was born into a theatrical family in 1883. A writer and Scottish nationalist, he published almost a hundred books across a range of different genres, including fiction, history, biography, literary criticism, satire, children's stories and poetry. He is best known for two comedies set in Scotland, Whisky Galore and The Monarch of the Glen. Carnival and The Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett are now back in print as part of the John Murray Heritage Series.

Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert was born in 1920. His colourful and varied career included stints as a radio news commentator and jungle survival instructor. He is best known for creating the world of DUNE, which became the bestselling science fiction novel of all time. It won great acclaim, as well as the Hugo and Nebula awards, establishing Frank Herbert as a master of modern science fiction. He died in 1986. His son, Brian Herbert, has now begun a new series of Dune novels, Prelude to Dune in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson . The first novel to appear in the new series is House Atreides, published by Hodder & Stoughton.www.dunenovels.com

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856 and moved to London in 1876. He wrote a number of novels, of which LOVE AMONG THE ARTISTS, AN UNSOCIAL SOCIALIST and CASHEL BYRON'S PROFESSION are currently available from John Murray. In 1925 Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He refused a peerage and the Order of Merit from the first Labour Government. He died in 1950.

James Stephens

James Stephens, poet and storyteller, was born in Dublin in 1880. From 1915 to 1924 he was registrar of the National Gallery in Dublin. He spent the remaining years of his life in London, where he broadcast frequently from the BBC. He died in 1950.

John Buchan

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, was born in 1875 in Perth, Scotland. He studied at Glasgow and Oxford Universities and turned to politics shortly after graduation, reaching the position of Governer General of Canada when he died in 1940. During the First World War he worked as a war correspondent for The Times, before joining the British Army Intelligence Corps, where he wrote speeches for Sir Douglas Haig. His experience of war left him vehemently opposed to armed conflict. He wrote many novels, poems, biographies, histories and works of social interest but is most famous for his Richard Hannay novels, The Thirty-Nine Steps and GREENMANTLE.

John Le Carré

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, secured him a wide reputation which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY and SMILEY'S PEOPLE. His other novels include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, A MOST WANTED MAN and OUR KIND OF TRAITOR.

Jurgen Wolff

Jurgen Wolff is a writer, teacher, NLP practitioner and the author of many books, including Your Writing Coach, Successful Scriptwriting (60,000 copies sold) Creativity Now!, Focus: the power of targeted thinking, Do Something Different as well as a dozen plays. A consistently successful screenwriter, Wolff has sat on the writing team on the hit TV series LOST and many other successful HBO projects. He has consulted to TV companies around the world (BBC, SKY, Columbia/Tri-Star)and written for newspapers including The Times. He holds creativity workshops around the world for organizations such as the Academy for Chief Executives, the University of Barcelona, the Pilots Programme, the Bertelsmann Foundation, film schools in Cologne, Berlin, and Munich, and many others. Born and educated in the US, Wolff now divides his time between London and California.

L. P. Hartley

L. P. Hartley (1895-1972) was a British writer, described by Lord David Cecil as 'One of the most distinguished of modern novelists; and one of the most original'. His best-known work is The Go-Between, which was made into a 1970 film. Other works include The Betrayal, The Brickfield, The Boat, My Fellow Devils, A Perfect Woman and Eustace and Hilda, for which he was awarded the 1947 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He was awarded the CBE in 1956.

Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin left school at 16 to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family (and a very naughty cat). When she's not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding Peak District. The Wicked Cometh is her first novel.

Lucy Mangan

Lucy was educated in Catford and Cambridge. She was briefly a very bad solicitor before leaving for a much nicer job in a bookshop. She got work experience at the Guardian and hung around until they gave her a job. She is now a columnist and features writer there and writes for magazines, including Grazia, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan - whenever they ask her.

Pamela Hansford-Johnson

Pamela Hansford Johnson was born in 1912. As a novelist, she gained recognition with her first novel, This Bed Thy Centre, published in 1935. She then went on to write 26 more novels throughout her life, ranging in genre from romantic and high comedy to tragedy, and the psychological study of cruelty, with themes centred around the moral responsibility of the individual in their personal and social relations. She was also a well-respected critic, a leading Proustian scholar, an essayist, a playwright, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a CBE. She died in 1981.

R. F. Delderfield

R. F. Delderfield was born in South London in 1912. On leaving school he joined the Exmouth Chronicle newspaper as a junior reporter, where he went on to become Editor. From there he began to write stage plays and then became a highly successful novelist, renowned for brilliantly portraying slices of English life. With the publication of his first saga, A HORSEMAN RIDING BY, he became one of Britain's most popular authors. Many of his bestselling novels were later adapted for television. He died in 1972.