Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writes & Reads #3: Allan Stratton

In this weekly slot, we talk to some of the writers involved in Manchester Literature Festival 2011.

Allan Stratton is an award-winning Canadian author of novels for young adults exploring sometimes controversial themes against a backdrop of love and friendship. Allan will be reading from Life, Above All, which has been adapted into a film, and his most recent novel Borderline (HarperCollins). The event takes place at Contact Theatre on Saturday 15th October at 4pm (£5/£3 concs).

MLF: List your top three favourite books…
AS: Tom Jones by Henry Fielding; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

MLF: What are you reading right now?
AS: Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel.

MLF: How did you get to this point in your writing career?
AS: Serendipity.

MLF: Who would you cite as your biggest influence, be they another writer, an artist, a musician, a Premier League footballer…
AS: My mom. She was a single parent in the 1950s. She is unconditional love, and, even at 90, she's the bravest, most determined person I know.

MLF: Which events in this year’s MLF programme are must-sees for you?
AS: Michael Frayn. There's Copenhagen, of course, but Noises Off and Benefactors are my personal favourites - and I love his screenplay for Clockwise. What wit and range!

MLF: Tell us about what you’re working on at the moment.
AS: I'm putting the finishing touches on The Grave Robber's Apprentice, which is coming out with HarperCollins in the States this spring, and Faber & Faber here a little later. (Also Canada with Harper and France with Bayard.) It is a children's adventure that uses Shakespearian motifs to tell a tale of friendship, loss and a family separated by the sea.

For full details of all events at MLF 2011 and how to book, visit the website at

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