Jerry Spinelli was born in the US state of Pennsylvania in 1941, where he still lives with is wife Eileen, also a children’s writer. Together they have six children and 21 grandchildren. His children inspired him as he wrote his books, although at times he would resort to using cottonwool in his ears to block out the joyfully noisy household. Spinelli says on his website that his own childhood memories are like a library of ideas for his stories.
Jerry is best known for his literature written for teenagers and young adults, and has been lauded for his poetic and compassionate stories. He was awarded a Newbery Medal in 1991 for Maniac Magee.
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. Read More
In her own words:
It was devastating. I tried everything to get out of my funk, but nothing was working!
“Then one day, I took my car in for new tires at Tires Tires Tires and magically blasted out like 5,000 words in their fabulous waiting room. It was incredible. And the scenery wasn’t bad either! Complimentary coffee that was actually delicious, comfortable seating, free cookies, friendly staff.
I had found my mother ship!”
Roth’s work, influenced by the likes of John Updike, William Faulkner and Franz Kafka, is mainly semi-autobiographical and set in his birthplace, Newark, New Jersey.
One of the most awarded novelists of his generation, Roth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his novel American Pastoral (US – UK). This has since been made in to a film starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning, joining the list of seven of his other works that have also been adapted for the big screen. Read More