Related to: 'Where in the World is Bob?'

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

Street Cat Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen
Hodder & Stoughton

A Gift from Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen
Hodder & Stoughton

For the Love of Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen
Hodder Paperbacks

The World According to Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen

The incredible and heartwarming sequel to the bestseller A Street Cat Named Bob - the uplifting true story of an unlikely friendship between a man on the streets of Covent Garden and the ginger cat who adopts him and helps him heal his life. Now a major motion picture starring Luke Treadaway. 'Since Bob has appeared, I've made huge strides in my life. For more than a decade I was a homeless drug addict. I was lost to the world and had forgotten what was important in life. Now I've got myself back on my two feet, but as I put the past behind me, I'm still stepping unsteadily into the future. I still need help in the right direction. Bob is always there to offer guidance and friendship.' (James, on Bob)'Close proximity to animals does wonders for your mental health. Close proximity to this book will do wonders for it, too.' (Daily Mail)James and his street cat Bob have been on a remarkable journey together. In the years since their story ended in the bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob, James, with Bob's help, has begun to find his way back to the real world.Almost every day, Bob provides moments of intelligence, bravery and humour, at the same time opening his human friend's eyes to important truths about friendship, loyalty, trust - and the meaning of happiness. In the continuing tale of their life together James shows the many ways in which Bob has been his protector and guardian angel through times of illness, hardship, even life-threatening danger. As they high five together for their crowds of admirers, James knows that the tricks he's taught Bob are nothing compared to the lessons he's learnt from his street-wise cat.

Hodder Paperbacks

Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen

The phenomenal bestseller A Street Cat Named Bob, featuring best friends James and street cat Bob, now available as a special edition for children aged 11 and above.'We are all given second chances every day of our lives, but we don't usually take them. Then I met Bob.'James Bowen was a homeless musician, busking on the streets of London to survive. But the moment he met an injured stray cat with ginger fur and big green eyes, his life began to change. Together James and Bob the cat faced the world - and won. A purrfectly true 'tail' of love and friendship to make you smile!Please note contains some drug references.

Hodder Paperbacks

A Street Cat Named Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen

'[Bob] has entranced London like no feline since the days of Dick Whittington.' (Evening Standard)The phenomenal Number One bestseller about best friends James and Bob. Now a major motion picture starring Luke Treadaway.When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.Yet James couldn't resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other's troubled pasts.A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting story that will touch the heart of anyone who reads it.

Benedict Wells

Benedict Wells was born in 1984 in Munich. At the age of six, he started his journey through three Bavarian boarding schools. Upon graduating school in 2003, he moved to Berlin, where he decided against an academic education and instead started to dedicate his time to writing. In 2016 he won the European Union Prize for Literature for his third novel, The End of Loneliness, which has been in the German bestseller list for over a year. After years of living in Barcelona, Wells has recently returned to Berlin.

Caitlin Davies

Caitlin Davies was born in London in 1964. She is the author of five novels and five non-fiction books, and has worked as a teacher and freelance journalist for 25 years. In 1989 she moved to Botswana where she worked for the country's first tabloid newspaper, the Voice, and later as editor of the Okavango Observer. She received a Journalist of the Year award. From 2014-2017 she worked as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Westminster, Harrow, in the faculty of Media, Arts & Design. Caitlindavies.co.uk@CaitlinDavies2

Callie Bates

Callie Bates is a writer, harpist and certified harp therapist, sometimes artist, and nature nerd. When she's not creating, she's hitting the trails or streets and exploring new places. She lives in the Upper Midwest. THE MEMORY OF FIRE is the sequel to her debut fantasy novel, THE WAKING LAND. She occasionally writes nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in Shambhala Sun, The Best Buddhist Writing 2012, All Things Girl and online journals.

Celia Haddon

Celia Haddon is a bestselling anthologist whose books have sold well over 1,000,000 copies worldwide. She was the Daily Telegraph's pet agony aunt and is a reputed lover and worshipper of cats, having lived with them and loved them since she was a child. She has compiled a number of anthologies in their honour. She is also compiler of the best-selling One Hundred Ways series and a qualified cat behaviourist.

David Mitchell

Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker. In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.

David Nicholls

Galaxy Book Award-winner (ONE DAY), Richard & Judy bestseller (STARTER FOR TEN), BAFTA Award nominee (GREAT EXPECTATIONS) and now Man Booker Longlisted (US) author David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. As well as his multimillion-copy bestselling novels STARTER FOR TEN, THE UNDERSTUDY and ONE DAY, David is a scriptwriter whose credits include the TV series Cold Feet, Rescue Me, I Saw You, the TV movies The 7:39 and Aftersun, and screenplays for Far From the Madding Crowd, Great Expectations, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and When Did You Last See Your Father? He has also written the screenplays for the film adaptations of his own novels, STARTER FOR TEN (2006) which starred James McAvoy, ONE DAY (2010), starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway, and the forthcoming THE UNDERSTUDY (release TBC).

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four internationally bestselling novels, including My Sister's Keeper, House Rules and The Storyteller, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. Jodi's UK website is www.jodipicoult.co.uk and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/JodiPicoultUK and twitter.com/jodipicoult. She also has a YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/JodiPicoultOfficial.

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.

John Grogan

John Grogan's first book, Marley & Me was a number one international bestseller and was released as a major movie in 2008, breaking box office records. The DVD was released in July 09. John lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Jenny, and their three children. His latest book, The Longest Trip Home is out now.

Jonathan Wittenberg

Jonathan Wittenberg was born in Glasgow in 1957 to a family of German Jewish origin. The family moved to London in 1963, where he attended University College School, specialising in classical and modern languages, subsequently reading English at Cambridge. He trained for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College London, receiving ordination in 1987. He now lives in London with his wife Nicky and, three children, and his faithful canine companion, Mitzpah.

Lauren Fern Watt

Lauren Watt is a writer from Nashville now living in New York City. When her 160-pound English Mastiff Gizelle was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, Lauren created a bucket-list adventure of everything they wanted to do together, to make sure the time they had left together was even more precious.

Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her achingly beautiful first novel, BEFORE I FALL. She followed that up with her bestselling young adult Delirium Trilogy and three adult novels. Her newest book, REPLICA, is out in late 2016.She is also the author of three novels for young readers, including the CURIOSITY HOUSE series. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.Find more information at www.laurenoliverbooks.com, or connect with Lauren on Twitter (/OliverBooks) and on Facebook (/laurenoliverbooks).

Lisa Jackson

LISA JACKSON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy-five novels, including Ready to Die, Afraid to Die, You Don't Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice and Shiver. She has over twenty million copies of her books in print in nineteen languages. She lives with her family and a rambunctious pug in the Pacific Northwest. Find out more atwww.lisajackson.comwww.facebook.com/lisajacksonfanswww.twitter.com/readlisajackson

Lucy Dillon

Lucy Dillon was born in Cumbria. She won the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year Award in 2010 for Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts, and is the bestselling author of four other novels: The Ballroom Class, Walking Back to Happiness, The Secret of Happy Ever After and A Hundred Pieces of Me. Lucy now divides her time between London and the Wye Valley where she enjoys walking in the Malvern Hills with her basset hounds, Violet and Bonham. You can follow her on Twitter @lucy_dillon or on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/LucyDillonBooks.