Related to: 'The Big Over Easy'

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 Fourth Bear

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

'Comic genius' (The Observer) and the second Nursery Crime detective novel by the bestselling author Jasper Fforde.The Gingerbreadman: Psychopath, sadist, genius, convicted murderer and biscuit is loose in the streets of Reading. It isn't Jack Spratt's case. He and Mary Mary have been reassigned due to falling levels of nursery crime, and The NCD is once more in jeopardy. That is, until a chance encounter during the Armitage Shanks literary awards at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club lead Jack and Mary on the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldilocks' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad. She had been about to break a story involving unexplained explosions in Herefordshire, Pasadena and the Nullabor Plain; The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood. But all is not what it seems. How could the bear's porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time? Was Goldy's death in the nearby 1st World War themepark of Sommeworld a freak accident? And is it merely chance that the Gingerbreadman pops up at awkward moments? But there's more. What does a missing scientist with a terrifying discovery in subatomic physics, a secret weapon of devastating power, a reclusive industrialist known only as the Quangle Wangle and Colonel Danvers of the National Security all have in common?(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Hodder & Stoughton

Early Riser

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder Paperbacks

The Last Dragonslayer

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde
Hodder & Stoughton

The Eye of Zoltar

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The Mighty Shandar, the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, returns to the Ununited Kingdoms. Clearly, he didn't solve the Dragon Problem, and must hand over his fee: eighteen dray-weights of gold. But the Mighty Shandar doesn't do refunds, and vows to eliminate the dragons once and for all - unless sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange and her sidekicks from the Kazam house of enchantment can bring him the legendary jewel, The Eye of Zoltar.The only thing that stands in their way is a perilous journey with a 50% Fatality Index - through the Cambrian Empire to the Leviathan Graveyard, at the top of the deadly Cadir Idris mountain. It's a quest like never before, and Jennifer soon finds herself fighting not just for her life, but for everything she knows and loves . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Thursday Next Collection 1-3

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The first three novels in Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, following the adventures of Swindon's favourite literary detective: THE EYRE AFFAIR, LOST IN A GOOD BOOK and THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Song of the Quarkbeast

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

A long time ago Magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keeps bicycles from falling over.Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls Magic controls almost anything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for unimaginable power and riches.Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. She may only have one functioning Wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns to help her. But one thing is certain: she will not relinquish the noble powers of Magic to big business and commerce without a fight.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Woman Who Died a Lot

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The BookWorld's leading enforcement officer Thursday Next is four months into an enforced semi-retirement following an assassination attempt. She returns home to Swindon for what you'd expect to be a time of recuperation. If only life were that simple.Thursday is faced with an array of family problems - son Friday's lack of focus since his career in the Chronoguard was relegated to a might-have-been, daughter Tuesday's difficulty perfecting the Anti-Smote shield needed to thwart an angry Deity's promise to wipe Swindon off the face of the earth, and Jenny, who doesn't exist.And that's not all. With Goliath attempting to replace Thursday at every opportunity with synthetic Thursdays, the prediction that Friday's Destiny-Aware colleagues will die in mysterious circumstances, and a looming meteorite that could destroy all human life on earth, Thursday's retirement is going to be anything but easy.

Hodder Paperbacks

One of our Thursdays is Missing

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The sixth instalment of Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde's sensational Thursday Nextseries. 'Fforde's books are more than just an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and are tautly plotted. They have empathetic heroes and heroines who nearly make terrible mistakes and suitably dastardly villains who do. They also have more twists and turns than Christie, and are embellished with the rich details of Dickens or Pratchett' - IndependentIt is a time of unrest in the BookWorld. Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the RealWorld or is this something more sinister?All is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, eager to prove herself worth of her illustrious namesake. The written Thursday is soon hot on the trail of her factual alter-ego, and quickly stumbles upon a plot so fiendish that it threatens the very BookWorld itself.

Hodder & Stoughton

Lost in a Good Book

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, literary detective and newlywed, is back to embark on an adventure that begins, quite literally on her own doorstep. It seems that Landen, her husband of four weeks, actually drowned in an accident when he was two years old. Someone, somewhere, sometime, is responsible. The sinister Goliath Corporation wants its operative Jack Schitt out of the poem in which Thursday trapped him, and it will do almost anything to achieve this - but bribing the ChronoGuard? Is that possible? Having barely caught her breath after The Eyre Affair, Thursday must battle corrupt politicians, try to save the world from extinction, and help the Neanderthals to species self-determination. Mastadon migrations, journeys into Just William, a chance meeting with the Flopsy Bunnies, and violent life-and-death struggles in the summer sales are all part of a greater plan. But whose? and why?(P)2003 ISIS Publishing Ltd

Hodder & Stoughton

Shades of Grey

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

***Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde's new standalone, Early Riser, is available to order now!***Imagine a black and white world where colour is a commodity . . .Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place.Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour. Eddie Russett is an above average Red who dreams of moving up the ladder by marriage to Constance Oxblood. Until he is sent to the Outer Fringes where he meets Jane - a lowly Grey with an uncontrollable temper and a desire to see him killed. For Eddie, it's love at first sight. But his infatuation will lead him to discover that all is not as it seems in a world where everything that looks black and white is really shades of grey ...If George Orwell had tripped over a paint pot or Douglas Adams favoured colour swatches instead of towels, neither of them would have come up with anything as eccentrically brilliant as Shades of Grey.

Hodder Paperbacks

First Among Sequels

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The fifth book in the phenomenally successful Thursday Next series, from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde. 'Ingenious - I'll watch Jasper Fforde nervously' Terry Pratchett on The Eyre AffairFourteen years after she pegged out at 1988 SuperHoop, Thursday Next is grappling with a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy novels.Her idle sixteen-year-old would rather sleep all day than save the world from imminent destruction, the government has a dangerously high stupidity surplues, and the Stiltonista Cheese Mafia are causing trouble for Thursday in her hometown of Swindon. Then things begin to get bad. As Reality Book Shows look set to transplant Reality TV Shows and Goliath invent a trans-fictional tourist coach, Thursday must once again have her wits about her as she travels to the very limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to rescue the reading experience from almost certain destruction . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Something Rotten

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The fourth book in the ingenious Thursday Next series, from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde.'Don't ask, just read it. Fforde is a true original' - Sunday Express on Lost in a Good BookThursday Next, Head of JurisFiction and ex-SpecOps agent, returns to her native Swindon accompanied by a child of two, a pair of dodos and Hamlet, who is on a fact-finding mission in the real world. Thursday has been despatched to capture escaped Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine but even so, now seems as good a time as any to retrieve her husband Landen from his state of eradication at the hands of the Chronoguard. It's not going to be easy. Thursday's former colleagues at the department of Literary Detectives want her to investigate a spate of cloned Shakespeares, the Goliath Corporation are planning to switch to a new Faith based corporate management system and the Neanderthals feel she might be the Chosen One who will lead them to genetic self-determination. With help from Hamlet, her uncle and time-travelling father, Thursday faces the toughest adventure of her career. Where is the missing President-for-life George Formby? Why is it imperative for the Swindon Mallets to win the World Croquet League final? And why is it so difficult to find reliable childcare?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Well Of Lost Plots

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The third book in the phenomenal Thursday Next series from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde. In the words of one critic: 'Don't ask. Just read it.'Leaving Swindon behind her to hide out in the Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is created), Thursday Next, Literary Detective and soon-to-be one parent family, ponders her next move from within an unpublished book of dubious merit entitled 'Caversham Heights'. Landen, her husband, is still eradicated, Aornis Hades is meddling with Thursday's memory, and Miss Havisham - when not sewing up plot-holes in 'Mill on the Floss' - is trying to break the land-speed record on the A409. But something is rotten in the state of Jurisfiction. Perkins is 'accidentally' eaten by the minotaur, and Snell succumbs to the Mispeling Vyrus. As a shadow looms over popular fiction, Thursday must keep her wits about her and discover not only what is going on, but also who she can trust to tell about it ... With grammasites, holesmiths, trainee characters, pagerunners, baby dodos and an adopted home scheduled for demolition, 'The Well of Lost Plots' is at once an addictively exciting adventure and an insight into how books are made, who makes them - and why there is no singular for 'scampi'.With grammasites, holesmiths, trainee characters, pagerunners, baby dodos and an adopted home scheduled for demolition, 'The Well of Lost Plots' is at once an addictively exciting adventure and an insight into how books are made, who makes them - and why there is no singular for 'scampi'.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Eyre Affair

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

The first book in the phenomenally successful Thursday Next series, from Number One bestselling author Jasper Fforde. 'Always ridiculous, often hilarious ... blink and you miss a vital narrative leap. There are shades of Douglas Adams, Lewis Carroll, 'Clockwork Orange' and '1984'. And that's just for starters' - Time OutMeet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend.There is another 1985, where London's criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave's MR Big.Acheron Hades has been kidnapping certain characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn't easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare's plays.Perhaps today just isn't going to be Thursday's day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again ...

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.It has been followed by Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like A Bird, Pure, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2011, and The Crossing.Andrew Miller's novels have been published in translation in twenty countries. Born in Bristol in 1960, he currently lives in Somerset.

Angie Kim

Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the suburbs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then practiced as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly. Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Salon, Slate, The Southern Review, Sycamore Review, The Asian American Literary Review, and PANK. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons. MIRACLE CREEK is her first novel.

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty five romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is a broadcaster and naturalist whose television career is now in its seventh decade. After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge and a brief stint in publishing, he joined the BBC in 1952 and spent ten years making documentary programmes of all kinds, including the Zoo Quest series. In 1965, he was appointed Controller of a new network, BBC2, and then, after four years became editorially responsible for both BBC1 and BBC2.After eight years of administration, he returned to programme-making to write and present a thirteen-part series, Life on Earth, which surveyed the evolutionary history of animals and plants. This was followed by many other series which, between them, surveyed almost every aspect of life on earth.

Graham Norton

Graham Norton is one of the UK's best loved broadcasters. He presents The Graham Norton Show on BBC1, has a weekly show on BBC Radio 2, and writes a column for the Telegraph. He is the winner of nine BAFTA awards. Born in Dublin and raised in West Cork, Norton now lives in London. His debut novel Holding was a commercial and critical success, winning Norton the Irish Independent Popular Fiction award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards in 2016.

Helen Chandler

Helen Chandler read English at Oxford University before working as a general manager in various NHS organisations. She lives in East London with her husband and daughter. Her first novel, TWO FOR JOY, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Contemporary Romance award, 2013.You can visit Helen's website at www.helenchandler.co.uk to find out more or read her blog, or follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/HelenLChandler.