‘there is a freedom in ghostliness. You break the surface of life and let the underside come out. If even life is a flat plane, the ghastliness gives depth and height. It’s a new dimension.’
Without question one of the foremost talents in contemporary children’s literature, the collection of memories and reflections that have been sensitively collated and assembled to form ‘The Making of Me’ offer unique insight, awareness and allow greater understanding of the formative years of writer Robert Westall offering a rare glimpse at the root of many of the concerns and preoccupations rooted throughout his body of writing.
A remarkable book, in equal parts because of its method of conception and its content, the musings and memories collected here make for a remarkable legacy. Upon Westall’s premature death in 1993, his literary agent Laura Cecil and partner Lindy McKinnel discovered several autobiographical pieces amongst his papers. Placed in chronological order alongside previously published autobiographical stories, the collection provides the closest equivalent to an autobiography for Robert Westall and offers a fascinating and rare insight into the author’s childhood and the ongoing influences this exerted over his writing.
This a book to be relished by aficionados of one of the most extraordinarily diverse, prolific yet consistently assured children’s authors of the past century, it is a book to be valued by scholars and an invaluable resource that needs to be read by all with an interest in the field and development of children’s literature.
An inspiring and life-affirming work, it has stimulated a new desire to re-read a number of Robert Westall’s novels again, an opportunity in itself aided by publisher Catnip who have simultaneously made a new edition of Westall’s supernatural thriller, ‘The Wind’s Eye’ available.