Alan Garner: ‘I just let the voice settle and listened’

The acclaimed children’s author on writing a memoir about his wartime upbringing in rural Cheshire

Alan Garner’s glittering career started nearly six decades ago with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, one of the great children’s books of the second half of the 20th century. Since then, he has written further fantasy novels including Elidor and the Carnegie-winning The Owl Service. His books for adults, including The Stone Book Quartet, Strandloper and Thursbitch, all centre on the Cheshire countryside in which his family has lived for more than 400 years. His latest book is Where Shall We Run To?, a moving evocation of his wartime childhood.

We visited Garner lives at the Blackden Trust in Alderley, which comprises Toad Hall, a barely modernised medieval timber-framed home, and the Old Medicine House, a 16th-century apothecary’s shop that he and his wife Griselda rescued from demolition in 1970 and transported 17 miles ...

Alan Garner: ‘I just let the voice settle and listened’

The acclaimed children’s author on writing a memoir about his wartime upbringing in rural Cheshire

Alan Garner’s glittering career started nearly six decades ago with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, one of the great children’s books of the second half of the 20th century. Since then, he has written further fantasy novels including Elidor and the Carnegie-winning The Owl Service. His books for adults, including The Stone Book Quartet, Strandloper and Thursbitch, all centre on the Cheshire countryside in which his family has lived for more than 400 years. His latest book is Where Shall We Run To?, a moving evocation of his wartime childhood.

We visited Garner lives at the Blackden Trust in Alderley, which comprises Toad Hall, a barely modernised medieval timber-framed home, and the Old Medicine House, a 16th-century apothecary’s shop that he and his wife Griselda rescued from demolition in 1970 and transported 17 miles ...