British Author Challenge December 2023: Malorie Blackman & E. M. Forster

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British Author Challenge December 2023: Malorie Blackman & E. M. Forster

1amanda4242
Editado: Nov 29, 2023, 6:14 pm



Malorie Blackman was born on 8 February 1962 in London. Her parents were originally from Barbados and came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation.

Although she had wanted to become an English teacher, Blackman instead became a systems programmer. Her first book, Not So Stupid!, came out in 1990 and she has since written dozens of books for children and young adults. Her memoir, Just Sayin': My Life In Words, was published this year.

Blackman's works have won a number of awards, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2008, and was appointed Children's Laureate in 2013. A British Library exhibition of her career is running from 24 November 2023 to 25 February 2024.

Selected works
Noughts & Crosses series
Boys Don't Cry
Pig-Heart Boy
Jack Sweettooth the 73rd
Whizziwig
Cloud Busting
Betsey Biggalow series
Blueblood: A Fairy Tale Revolution
Just Sayin': My Life In Words

2amanda4242
Editado: Nov 29, 2023, 7:51 pm


Portrait by Dora Carrington

E. M. Forster was born on 1 January 1879 in London to Edward Morgan Llewellyn Forster, an architect who died shortly before his son's second birthday, and Alice Clara "Lily" Forster.

Forster inherited a substantial trust from a great-aunt which allowed him to live comfortably and pursue a career as a writer. He attended King's College, Cambridge where he studied history and classics and became a member of the Apostles.

After leaving university, Forster traveled around Europe and published his first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, in 1905. Four more novels were published during his lifetime, as well as numerous short stories, essays, travel writings, biographies, and a libretto for Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd. Forster's sixth novel, Maurice, was published posthumously. His writing garnered several awards, including a James Tait Black Memorial Prize for A Passage to India.

Forster had several romantic relationships during his life, most notably a forty years long relationship with Bob Buckingham, a married policeman. Forster died of a stroke on 7 June 1970.

Selected works
Where Angels Fear to Tread
A Room with a View
Howards End
A Passage to India
Maurice
The Life to Come and other stories
Aspects of the Novel
Two Cheers for Democracy
The Hill of Devi

Project Gutenberg page https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/975

3m.belljackson
Nov 29, 2023, 4:42 pm

Forster's Aspects of the Novel was my 3 star choice.

4amanda4242
Editado: Nov 29, 2023, 5:01 pm

>3 m.belljackson: I haven't read any of his non-fiction, but I've loved all of his novels that I've read.

5m.belljackson
Editado: Nov 29, 2023, 5:02 pm

>4 amanda4242: If you check my review, you can see why you might want to stay with his novels, at least for this one non-fiction.

Which are your favorites of his novels?

6amanda4242
Nov 29, 2023, 5:21 pm

>5 m.belljackson: Well, it does sound more interesting than most lit criticism I've read...

It's a toss up between A Room with a View and Maurice for my favorite novel.

7kac522
Editado: Nov 29, 2023, 8:34 pm

I'm in the middle of Forster's Selected Stories--this Penguin collection has 12, all from before 1920. They all have some aspect of myth or fantasy or fantastical elements.

From the library I have:
Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)--essays from 1936-1951
Aspects of the Novel (1927)
Marianne Thornton--a biography of a great-aunt (possibly the great-aunt who left him the trust??)

I will probably read bits of the first two; haven't decided whether I'll read the biography.

8amanda4242
Nov 29, 2023, 8:46 pm

>7 kac522: possibly the great-aunt who left him the trust??

Yep, that's her.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Thornton

9PaulCranswick
Nov 29, 2023, 9:55 pm

I want to read both this coming month.

Noughts and Crosses is on the shelves
as is
Howard's End.

10amanda4242
Nov 29, 2023, 11:32 pm

>9 PaulCranswick: *whispers* There's no apostrophe in Howards End, Paul.

11kac522
Nov 30, 2023, 1:18 am

>8 amanda4242: Thanks.
>9 PaulCranswick: Howards End is a favorite of mine. You'll appreciate the bookcases.

12Kristelh
Nov 30, 2023, 6:49 am

I’ve read all of Forster’s 1001 books. I found an audio of The Longest Journey so that might be my selection. I have liked all his books. Howards End is good but there is a lot to think about in A Passage to India.

13amanda4242
Nov 30, 2023, 10:52 am

A BBC Radio 3 documentary on Forster's Maurice.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p057tpn8

14m.belljackson
Nov 30, 2023, 11:00 am

>6 amanda4242: Read both Room with a view and Maurice awhile ago so will go to Abe for Howards End.

15amanda4242
Nov 30, 2023, 11:05 am

>14 m.belljackson: It's available on Project Gutenberg if you don't mind e-books.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2891

16kac522
Dez 11, 2023, 12:46 am

Have read the first 2 lectures of Aspects of the Novel and am enjoying it quite a bit.

17m.belljackson
Dez 11, 2023, 11:31 am

>15 amanda4242: Thank you - am 1/3 through Howards End in Abe.com book - plot picked up following funeral!

18kac522
Dez 18, 2023, 12:41 pm

Forster is hit or miss for me. I've always loved Howards End, but could never get on with A Room with a View.

And so the Selected Stories collection was also hit or miss, mostly miss for me. These 12 stories were originally published between 1904 and 1920, and they all have a magical, mythical or speculative element.

I did enjoy the story "Co-ordination" which is about Miss Haddon and her female pupils who are learning different aspects of Napoleon, with a smattering here and there: a Beethoven piano transcription of the "Eroica" symphony, Wordsworth's political poems, etc. Looking down on them from above are Beethoven, Napoleon and their clerks who are pleased, and Mephistopheles who is convinced that Great Genius is not being served.

19kac522
Editado: Dez 18, 2023, 12:46 pm

A resounding Forster hit for me, though, was Aspects of the Novel. These 1927 lectures were presented in an entertaining, chatty style and cover story, plot, people, fantasy, prophecy, pattern and rhythm. Forster uses real examples to illustrate his concepts, including discussions of Austen, Dickens, George Eliot, Dostoevsky, Proust, Henry James and many others. He made me think about the diverse elements in a novel in a new way.

A real delight; I got this from the library and may even purchase my own copy.

20amanda4242
Dez 18, 2023, 9:12 pm

>19 kac522: I picked up a copy at a used book store a couple of years ago but haven't gotten around to it yet. Perhaps in the new year.

21Kristelh
Dez 21, 2023, 1:02 pm

I completed My Friend's a Gris-Quok by Malorie Blackman. It is children's literature but it was fun.

22amanda4242
Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 6:52 pm

I decided to go ahead and read Aspects of the Novel and ended up really liking it. Forster is insightful, erudite, and has a lovely style. Certainly the most enjoyable literary criticism I've ever read.

Blueblood: A Fairy Tale Revolution by Malorie Blackman, illustrated by Laura Barrett

A re-telling of Bluebeard where the wife has some dark secrets of her own. It's not a bad take, but it's not really anything to write home about, either. The strongest part of the book is probably Laura Barrett's illustrations, although I don't think those alone are worth the cover price.

Received via Edelweiss.