The Child That Books Built

A Life in Reading

Francis Spufford

Picador

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In this extended love letter to children's books and the wonders they perform, Francis Spufford makes a confession: books were his mother, his father, his school. Reading made him who he is. To understand the thrall of fiction, Spufford goes back to his earliest encounters with books, exploring such beloved classics as The Wind in the Willows, The Little House on the Prairie, and The Chronicles of Narnia. He recreates the excitement of discovery, writing joyfully of the moment when fuzzy marks on a page become words. Weaving together child development, personal reflection, and social observation, Spufford shows the force of fiction in shaping a child: how stories allow for escape from pain and mastery of the world, how they shift our boundaries of the sayable, how they stretch the chambers of our imagination.

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Reviews

Praise for The Child That Books Built

"Exhilarating. . .It's a brilliant book, beautifully written, its insights hard-earned, filled with stuff that will make you understand a whole lot better your own life in reading." --The New York Times Book Review

"Ambitious. . .His enthusiasm for this material is often charming. . .Spufford is at his best recalling his bookish discoveries." --Newsday (New York)

"Francis Spufford lures us in to reveal the original power of books--as landscapes, as spurs to inwardness, as the very crucibles in which the self is formed. He is the addict's unrepentant confession, poignant, witty, and true in the way that every real reader will recognize instantly." --Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies

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About the Author

Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford is also the author of I May Be Some Time (Picador). He was named Sunday Times (London) Young Writer of the Year and received the 1997 Somerset Maugham and Writers’ Guild Awards. He lives in London.

Francis Spufford

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Child That Books Built
A Life in Reading
Francis Spufford

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
December 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312421847
ISBN10: 0312421842
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$17.00
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Picador

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