Related to: 'The Long Walk'

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 Outsider

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man. Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day.As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King's propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear.Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

Hodder & Stoughton

Different Seasons

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

In this classic collection of four novellas, the grand master takes you on irrestistible journeys into the far reaches of horror, heartache and hope.Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is the story of two men convicted of murder - one guilty, one innocent - who form the perfect partnership as they dream up a scheme to escape from prison.In Apt Pupil a golden schoolboy entices an old man with a past to join in a dreadful union. The Body sees four young boys venture into the woods and find life, death . . . and the end of innocence.The Breathing Method is the tale of a doctor who goes to his club and discovers a woman determined to give birth - no matter what.(P)2009 Penguin Audio

Hodder Paperbacks

11.22.63

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Now a major TV series from JJ Abrams and Stephen King, starring James Franco (Hulu US, Fox UK and Europe, Stan Australia, SKY New Zealand).WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . . King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life - a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.With extraordinary imaginative power, King weaves the social, political and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation into a devastating exercise in escalating suspense.

Hodder Paperbacks

'Salem's Lot

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

'Turn off the television - in fact, why don't you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair? - and we'll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them.'Stephen King, from the Introduction. 'Salem's Lot is a small New England town with the usual quota of gossips, drinkers, weirdos and respectable folk. Of course there are tales of strange happenings - but not more than in any other town its size.Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed - nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Bag of Bones

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

Duma Key

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

Rose Madder

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight - with his credit card. Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, 'Rose Madder', which strangely seems to want her as much as she wants it. But it's hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder. Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman is a corrupt cop with a dog's instinct for tracking people. And he's getting close. Rosie can feel how close he is getting . . .A brilliant, dark-hued fable of gender wars, a haunting love story, and a hold-your-breath triumph of suspense, ROSE MADDER is Stephen King at his electrifying best.

Hodder & Stoughton

It

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

UR (digital download)

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

The Gingerbread Girl

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

In the emotional aftermath of her baby's sudden death, Em starts running. Soon she runs from her husband, to the airport, down to the Florida Gulf, and out to the loneliest stretch of Vermillion Key, where her father has offered the use of a conch shack he has kept there for years.Em keeps up her running - barefoot on the beach, sneakers on the road - and sees virtually no one. This is doing her all kinds of good, until one day, she makes the mistake of looking into the driveway of a man named Pickering.Pickering also enjoys the privacy of Vermillion Key, but the young women he brings there suffer the consequences. Will Em be next?(P)2008 Stephen King

Hodder & Stoughton

Under the Dome

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

King's bestselling novel centres on a small town suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible dome.In UNDER THE DOME, King has produced another riveting masterpiece. The end of every chapter hooks you into the next, drawing you inside a psychological drama that is so rich, you don't read it, you live it.It is the story of the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine which is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. No one can get in and no one can get out.The normal rules of society are suddenly changed and when food, electricity and water run short, the community begins to crumble. As a new and more sinister social order develops, Dale Barbara, Iraq veteran, teams up with a handful of intrepid citizens to fight against the corruption that is sweeping through the town and to try to discover the source of the Dome before it is too late . . .(P)2009 Simon & Schuster Audio

Hodder & Stoughton

The Mist

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

Everything's Eventual

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Nothing is quite as it seems.Expect the unexpected in this veritable treasure trove of enthralling, witty, dark tales that could only come from the imagination of the greatest storyteller of our time.In this eerie, enchanting compilation, Stephen King takes readers down a road less travelled (for good reason) in the blockbuster e-book 'Riding the Bullet'. Terror becomes deja vu all over again when you get 'That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French'. 'LT's Theory of Pets' will make you stop and think before giving a dog to a loved one. And there are eleven more stories that will keep you awake until dawn.(P)2002 Simon and Schuster Inc.

Hodder & Stoughton

Blaze (digital download)

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

The Green Mile

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers such as 'Billy the Kid' Wharton and the possessed Eduard Delacroix await death strapped in 'Old Sparky'. Guards as decent as Paul Edgecombe and as sadistic as Percy Wetmore watch over them.But good or evil, innocent or guilty, none has ever seen the brutal likes of the new prisoner, John Coffey, sentenced to death for raping and murdering two young girls. Is Coffey a devil in human form? Or is he a far, far different kind of being?There are more wonders in heaven and hell than anyone at Cold Mountain can imagine. In The Green Mile, Stephen King builds the tension and then delivers a revelation that will truly blow your mind.(P)1996 Recorded Books

Hodder & Stoughton

Hearts in Atlantis

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

Cell

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

LT's Theory of Pets

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

L.T. has a theory about pets, particularly his Siamese cat. It had been their cat not just his cat, but that was until he came home one day to find a note on the fridge from his wife saying she had left him. From this simple beginning, Stephen King spins a tale as compelling as anything he's written, and on this audio he reveals himself as as a gifted live performer as well. Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in London, LT's Theory of Pets is unique: a story not available in book form being read to an audience who will never forget the night they sat enthralled by the world's master storyteller.(p) 1998 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder & Stoughton

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

Dreamcatcher

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry (site of Stephen King's IT and INSOMNIA), four young boys stood together and did a brave thing; something that changed them in ways they hardly understand.A quarter-century later, the boys are men who have gone their separate ways although they still get together once a year, to go hunting in the north woods of Maine. But this time a man comes stumbling into their camp, lost, disoriented and muttering about lights in the sky. Before long, these old friends will be plunged into the most remarkable events of their lives and a terrible struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their past and in the boy they once rescued as a child.