Alan Garner (October 17, 1934 - ..)
Born: 17th October, 1934
Nationality: English
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Congleton, England, "Thursbitch", "Boneland", "Elidor", "Strandloper", "The Moon of Gomrath", "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: A Tale of Alderley", "Red Shift"

Alan Garner Facts

Biography

Alan Garner, (born October 17, 1934, Congleton, Cheshire, England), English writer whose works, noted for their idiosyncratic style, were rooted in the myth and legend of the British Isles.

Garner attended local schools before spending two years in the Royal Artillery and studying at Magdalen College, Oxford. His first book, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: A Tale of Alderley (1960), is a fantasy tale in which twins Colin and Susan must contend with supernatural forces after discovering that they possess a magical gem. It is set in Alderley Edge in Garner's native Cheshire. He released a sequel, The Moon of Gomrath (1963), in which the children must again face dark magical threats. In 2012 he issued the final installment of the trilogy, Boneland, which details the adult Colin's quest to find his sister. The books draw on such mythological motifs as the "sleeping king," a legendary hero waiting to be awakened in a time of crisis, and the "wild hunt," a group of ghastly riders condemned to hunt for eternity.

Further novels include Elidor (1965), about four children tasked with protecting magical items, and The Owl Service (1967; television film 1969), which retells a story from the Welsh mythological compendium the Mabinogion. Red Shift (1973) follows the lives of three men living in different centuries, all of whom come into possession of a magical ax. The novel elliptically references the ballad of Tam Lin, a man rescued from the fairies by his paramour. Strandloper (1996) is based on the true story of an Englishman who lived with Australian Aborigines for more than 30 years. Thursbitch (2003) intertwines events taking place in the titular English valley in the 18th and 21st centuries. The Stone Book Quartet--comprising The Stone Book (1976), Granny Reardun (1977), Tom Fobble's Day (1977), and The Aimer Gate (1978)--is a series of fictionalized episodes from the lives of Garner's ancestors.

Garner retold legends and folktales in the collections Alan Garner's Fairy Tales of Gold (1979), The Lad of the Gad (1980), A Bag of Moonshine (1986), Once upon a Time (1993), and Collected Folk Tales (2011). Other works include The Voice That Thunders: Essays and Lectures (1997) and The Well of the Wind (1998), a meandering fairy tale for younger children. Garner also wrote radio, television, and stage plays. The opera libretto Potter Thompson (1975), another riff on the legend of the "sleeping hero," was commissioned by a children's choral group.

Garner was created Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 2001. His archives were housed at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, U.S.

Top 15 Alan Garner quotes

I don't think I've ever frightened myself before when writing, but there were areas where there was terror, as though I was looking into somewhere that I didn't know existed before, and it frightened me.
Area
Before
Ever
Existed
Frightened
Know
Looking
Me
Myself
Somewhere
Terror
Think
Though
Were
My attitude is that if anybody of any age wants to read a book, let them, but I do think that no child would want to read 'Boneland.'
Age
Any
Anybody
Attitude
Book
Child
Read
Them
Think
Want
Wants
Would
My background is deep and set in deep time, and in a narrow space, oral traditions going back a long, long time, which I inherited by osmosis.
Back
Background
Deep
Going
Inherited
Long
Long time
Narrow
Oral
Set
Space
Time
Traditions
Which
I've learned never to try and force words to come.
Come
Force
Learned
Never
Try
Words
My primary tongue, I would call North-West Mercian.
Call
Primary
Tongue
Would
I loathe crowds. I especially don't like cities. A city involves biomass. And biomass gets to me.
Cities
City
Crowds
Gets
Involves
Like
Loathe
Me
I learnt that I must never finish a book with nothing else to do.
Book
Else
Finish
Learnt
Must
Never
Nothing
My feeling is that writing is, for me, a pathological condition. That could sound like a mystical experience, and it may be a mystical experience, but I have learnt just to go with it.
Condition
Could
Experience
Feeling
Go
Just
Learnt
Like
May
Me
Mystical
Pathological
Sound
Writing
I love research so much that I do an enormous amount; it helps put off the moment of starting to write the story.
Amount
Enormous
Helps
I love
Love
Moment
Much
Off
Put
Research
Starting
Story
Write
The thing that I was brought up to prize above everything else is the intellect. There is no problem that the intellect cannot solve, but it never had an original thought. Originality is the realm of the unconscious.
Above
Brought
Cannot
Else
Everything
Everything else
Had
Intellect
Never
No problem
Original
Originality
Prize
Problem
As far as the world was concerned, from 1979 to 1996, I didn't publish any original material; it just wasn't there.
Any
As far as
Concerned
Far
Just
Material
Original
Publish
World
My mother read nursery rhymes to me, and my grandmother told me folk stories, but as a child I had no interest in writing whatsoever.
Child
Folk
Grandmother
Had
Interest
Me
Mother
No interest
Nursery
Read
Rhymes
Stories
Whatsoever
Writing
My great-grandfather was a self-taught man, and his library was extraordinary. I read the lot.
Extraordinary
His
Library
Lot
Man
Read
Self-taught
Everything I have ever written has been in the same chair, in the same room.
Been
Chair
Ever
Everything
Has-been
Room
Same
Written
If you are going to write, nothing will stop you, and if you are not going to write, nothing will make you.
Going
Make
Nothing
Stop
Will
Write
You

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