Judith Kerr: An Author and Her Big and Small Cats

Judith Kerr was born on 14th June 1923 in Hamburg, Germany to a German-Jewish theatre critic. The family fled Germany in 1933 on the eve of war, fearful because Judith’s father had been openly critical of the Nazis, events that inspired her writing for years to come.

Originally a budding artist, this was put on the backburner when she became a refugee. Eventually the family would settle in Britain and when Judith had her own children she started writing and drawing again.

Her first and possibly most famous work The Tiger Who Came to Tea was published in 1968, inspired by the threat at the door of living under the Reich. The tiger came to being after visits Judith and her children made to the zoo and made up stories for her children based on the animals. A favourite of her daughter’s was the ‘tiger story’, and the Tiger

My own favourite is Mog the cat and this series of stories is also inspired by a real cat. Judith had always wanted a cat as a child but had been unable to because of the family’s instability, when she moved into her own house she acquired an eccentric cat inspiring an 18 series long set of books.

Kerr’s other best known series doesn’t feature cats, but there is a pink rabbit. The Out of the Hitler Time trilogy is a semi-autobiographical story of a young Jewish girl and her family escaping the Nazis.

Aside from that Kerr has at least a dozen books to her name, the most recent published in 2015 and this life of writing is testament to one of the most popular children’s authors of our time.

10 Witty Wisecracks from Dorothy Parker

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Dorothy Parker (August 22nd, 1893 – June 7th, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer and satirist, best remembered for her wit and wisecracks.

Born in New Jersey, Parker had an unhappy childhood, leading to a long and unhappy relationship with her own father. She first became well known in 1918 when she stepped in for P. G Wodehouse writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair. While her caustic wit was popular with readers, she was eventually terminated after her criticisms began to offend powerful theatre producers. Read More

Chinese Author Liu Yongbiao Arrested for Decades Old Murders

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The Chinese crime author Liu Yongbiao has been arrested for the murder of four people who he killed over twenty years ago. The 53-year-old was a member of the official China Writers’ Association and had won prizes for his writing. The case is made all the more chilling by the fact that, in his book ‘The Guilty Secret’, the author wrote about a female writer who avoids arrest after having murdered several people. Read More

10 Magical Quotes From Mary Poppins Author P.L. Travers.

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Australian writer P.L. Travers was born on the 9th of August in 1899 and died on the 23rd of April 1996. Travers spent much of her early career as a Shakespearean actress until she began writing at the age of 25.

She is best known for her book series Mary Poppins (1934) upon which the famous 1964 Disney movie was based. Another musical adaptation of the books and film was put on in the West End in 2004, and premiered on Broadway in 2006.

Reportedly inspired by Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, Travers’ work is full of magic and humour, and perfect for adults and children alike.

Here are ten of her best quotes from the Mary Poppins novels.

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Five of the Best Shirley Jackson Books

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Shirley Jackson (Dec 14th 1916 – Aug 8th 1965) was an American author who was thought to be the queen of ghost stories, and while popular during her lifetime, it’s in recent years that she has received special attention from literary critics.

Thought to be an influence on many of today’s authors including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Joanne Harris and Richard Matheson, Jackson’s books are sinister, earning her the title the master of the horror tale. Read More

Forbes: 10 Highest Paid Authors 2017

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Every year, Forbes release the rich list, showing us the highest paid individuals of the year and this week they have released their highest paid authors list, telling us who the ten biggest earners of the year were! The top 10 is full of big names, and unsurprisingly many of the books have had, or have planned movie adaptations. Read More

alexei sayle

Alexei Sayle Discusses His Second Autobiography.

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Comedian and writer Alexei Sayle was born in Liverpool, UK on the 7th of August, 1952. Sayle is considered a central figure in the alternative comedy revolution of the 1980s which had kicked back against the old fashioned comedy stylings that had come previously. Often politically charged, Sayle’s comedy took an absurd and cynical look at society and culture.

Alexei Sayle has turned his hand to a vast array of creative mediums over the last four decades from his 3 music albums in the 1980s, written 5 screenplays and 10 books, as well as a host of film and television appearances.

As an author Sayle has written five novels and two short story collections, and in 1987 he created a graphic novel, Geoffrey The Tube Train And The Fat Comedian. A collection of his columns for Time Out and the Sunday Mirror were collated into his book Great Bus Journeys of the World, co-written with David Stafford.

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