David A. Robertson reading from Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden and discussing how he creates change through his writing.
If you’re listening to this podcast, my bet is that you, like me, are a reader. You love a good book, and if you’re lucky, you’ve loved them all your life because someone introduced the power of stories to you. My parents read to me when I was young, but the real gateway drug for me was my dad making up stories. As a reader, I followed the conventional path. I started with kids’ books and moved on to what would be called ‘YA’ now, then diving into Literature in high school, and eventually moving on to attain both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Literature at university. For someone who is happily child-free, I read a lot of Young Adult literature. In part, it’s because my wife trained as a YA librarian, so she’s always finding great books, but also just because they’re great books! It takes a certain gift to write a book that’s brilliant for children and young adults, and grown-ups, like me. The very best of these books are wise, timeless, and fearless.
David A. Robertson is one of those people who can write for young people. I mean, he can really write for young people. He’s won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, and the Indigenous Writer of the Year Award at the High Plains Book Awards. Acknowledging these accolades is easy, but the same can’t be said for pinning down his genre. So far, he’s published over 25 books across multiple genres and has no plans of stopping anytime soon.
David reads two pages from ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce. [reading begins at 8:45]
Hear us discuss:
- David’s watershed moment. [13:56]
- “I thought, ‘This needs to be out into the world. If no one’s gonna do it, I’ll do it.’ Then I wrote it.” [19:19]
- A writer’s relationship with time: “I realised that creating change in the work that I have will take a long time.” [20:30]
- The change David wants his work to bring about in the world. [24:51]
- The importance of having a strong support system on difficult journeys. [26:54]
- Figuring out what to read next. [29:34]
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Philippa Pearce | Tom’s Midnight Garden
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