Novelist and Commentator Ahdaf Soueif was born in Egypt on 23rd March 1950. She has since spent her life living between England and Egypt.
When Soueif first came to England at the age of four, it was with her Mother who was studying for her PHD in English Literature. She spent these early years surrounded by her Mother’s extensive library of English classics and world literature in translation. She believes this early introduction to reading, is why she writes her novels in English.
Ahdaf Soueif was the first Muslim woman to be shortlisted for the Booker prize for her novel “The Map of Love” (US – UK). Her work has been translated into 21 languages and sold over a million copies worldwide.
Born in the Bronx to Russian Jewish descendants on 27th May 1915, Bronx grew up as part of a struggling family in poverty. After his childhood, Wouk earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of 19 from Columbia University and went on to serve as the editor of the university’s humor magazine, The Columbia Jester and thereafter would become a radio dramatist.
A skilled illustrator, and the ability to see the world from a children’s perspective made Judith Kerr one of the most talented children’s writers the world has ever seen. From the Tiger Who Came to Tea, to the Mog the Cat stories, Kerr had a way of talking to children and passing on important messages.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Hewett was raised on a sheep and wheat farm. She was initially home educated before attending Perth College, aged 15. While the college was run by Anglican nuns, Hewett was an atheist and remained so her entire life.
Maupin was born in Washington DC and graduated from Needham Broughton High School before attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first foray into writing was as a journalist for The Daily Tar Heel.
In 1974 he began what would become Tales of the City as a colum in the Pacific Sun newspaper, moving to the San Francisco Chronicle after the Sun’s San Francisco edition folded. Read More
French loved both acting and writing from an early age and her debut novel, In the Woods, published in 2007 won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards for best first novel. Today we’re looking at the author through some of her quotes, and the books they appeared in.
The book was taken on the Terra Nova expedition in 1910 by Captain Scott with the view to sustain morale among his men. Captain Scott and his men would take it in turns to read chapters to the group, keeping spirits up during the harsh Antarctic conditions. David Copperfield was written in periodical chapters with intriguing cliffhangers, making it perfect for reading aloud together.
There was a British tradition of taking libraries of books on expeditions, with Sir John Franklin taking over 1000 books with him on his 1845 journey to the Arctic including some novels by Charles Dickens such as The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby.