This posthumous collection of Westall’s autobiographical writings provides ample reminders of all the force and honesty that went into his work. Beginning with his parents, grandparents and neighbours, he takes his story through school and university, finishing with a post-graduate course at London’s Slade School. National Service followed, with his experiences out in Egypt providing him with the life-long hatred of war and violence evident in all his fiction. Writing his most famous novel The Machine Gunners to entertain his son and with no further idea of publication, his succeeding years as a successful novelist were blighted by the death of this same boy aged eighteen in a motorbike accident. Some tranquility was restored to him by Lindy McKinnel, with whom he lived towards the end of his life and who has put this collection together. There is also a generous tribute to his first and greatest editor, Marni Hodgkin. Pugnacious, deeply imaginative, steeped in his beloved North East England, Westall’s 50 novels for children are a fine and memorable achievement. This present book throws more light on a born writer who only discovered his gift in his early forties. Its publication will coincide with a major exhibition on Westall to be held at Newcastle’s Seven Stories Centre this October.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2006-09-01 18:24:352023-04-01 18:30:20The Making of Me. A writer’s childhood