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
Hodder & Stoughton

Sleeping Beauties

Stephen King, Owen King
Authors:
Stephen King, Owen King

In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent...In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women's prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep - and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain? The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling's Sheriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake.And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether...

Hodder & Stoughton

Gwendy's Button Box

Stephen King, Richard Chizmar
Authors:
Stephen King, Richard Chizmar

'A resonant novella set in one of King's signature locales: the small town of Castle Rock, Maine' Washington PostThe small town of CASTLE ROCK, MAINE has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told...until now.There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: 'Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.'On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black suit coat, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat...Journey back to Castle Rock in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December.

Hodder Paperbacks

End of Watch

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder Paperbacks

The Tommyknockers

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder Paperbacks

On Writing

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

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

Night Shift

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder Paperbacks

Skeleton Crew

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Includes the brilliant story 'The Mist', now adapted into a major Netflix series.Hold tight. We are going into a number of dark places, but I think I know the way. Just don't let go of my arm . . . Unrivalled master of suspense Stephen King takes the unsuspecting reader on a fantastic journey through the dark shadows of our innermost fears. Do the dead sing? In this bumper collection of chilling tales, we meet: a woman who has never crossed The Reach, the water dividing her from the mainland; a gramma who only wants to hug little George, even after she is dead; an innocent looking toy with sinister powers; and a primeval sea creature with an insatiable appetite.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder Paperbacks

Cujo

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine . . . He was not a werewolf, vampire, ghoul, or unnameable creature from the enchanted forest or snow wastes; he was only a cop . . . Cujo is a huge Saint Bernard dog, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. Then one day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole. Except it isn't a rabbit warren any more. It is a cave inhabited by rabid bats.And Cujo falls sick. Very sick. And the gentle giant who once protected the family becomes a vortex of horror inexorably drawing in all the people around him . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Pet Sematary

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
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 Paperbacks

Firestarter

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

Gerald's Game

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Now a Netflix movie directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) and starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood.A game. A husband and wife game. Gerald's Game.But this time Jesse didn't want to play. Lying there, spreadeagled and handcuffed to the bedstead while he'd loomed and drooled over her, she felt angry and humiliated. So she'd kicked out hard. Aimed to hit him where it hurt.He wasn't meant to die, leaving Jesse alone and helpless in a lakeside holiday cabin. Miles from anywhere. No-one to hear her screams. Alone. Except for the voices in her head that had begun to chatter and argue and sneer . . .

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

Cell

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King

Stephen King's bestselling apocalyptic thriller is a major motion picture starring John Cusack (1408), Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained) and Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan) coming in August.'Civilization slipped into its second dark age on an unsurprising track of blood but with a speed that could not have been foreseen by even the most pessimistic futurist. By Halloween, every major city from New York to Moscow stank to the empty heavens and the world as it had been was a memory.' The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cell phone operating within the entire world. Within hours, those receiving calls would be infected.A young artist Clayton Riddell realises what is happening. He flees the devastation of explosive, burning Boston, desperate to reach his son before his son switches on his little red mobile phone . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Hearts in Atlantis

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

'The world has teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. Trisha McFarland discovered this when she was nine years old. Lost in the woods.'Trisha has only veered a little way off the trail. But in her panic to get back to the path, Trisha takes a turning that leads into the tangled undergrowth. Deeper and deeper in the terrifying woods. At first it's just the bugs, midges and mosquitoes. Then comes the hunger. For comfort she tunes her Walkman into broadcasts of the Red Sox baseball games and the performances of her hero Tom Gordon. As darkness begins to fall, Trisha realises that she is not alone. There's something else in the woods - watching. Waiting . . .(p) 1999 Simon & Schuster