Friday, 5 October 2007

More than poetry

A Few Novelists and Playwrights

Pat Barker : Novelist.
Born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire, England, on 8 May 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics, where she read International History, and at Durham University. She taught History and Politics until 1982. She began to write in her mid-twenties and was encouraged to pursue her career as a writer by the novelist Angela Carter. Her early novels dealt with the harsh lives of working-class women living in the north of England. Her first book, Union Street (1982) won the Fawcett Society Book Prize, while her second, Blow Your House Down (1984), was adapted for the stage by Sarah Daniels in 1994. The Century's Daughter (re-published as Liza's England in 1996) was published in 1986, followed by The Man Who Wasn't There in 1989.In 1983 she was named as one of the 20 'Best Young British Novelists' in a promotion run by the Book Marketing Council and Granta magazine. Her trilogy of novels about the First World War, which began with Regeneration in 1991, was partly inspired by her grandfather's experiences fighting in the trenches in France. Regeneration was made into a film in 1997 starring Jonathan Pryce and James Wilby. The Eye in the Door (1993), the second novel in the trilogy, won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road (1995), the final novel in the series, won the Booker Prize for Fiction. Another World (1998), although set in contemporary Newcastle, is overshadowed by the memories of an old man who fought in the First World War.Pat Barker was made a CBE in 2000. Her most recent novel, Border Crossing, was published in 2001 and describes the relationship between a child psychologist and a young man convicted of murder 13 years earlier. FictionBibliographyUnion Street Virago, 1982Blow Your House Down Virago, 1984The Century's Daughter (re-published as 'Liza's England' in 1996) Virago, 1986The Man Who Wasn't There Virago, 1989Regeneration Viking, 1991The Eye in the Door Viking, 1993The Ghost Road Viking, 1995Another World Viking, 1998Border Crossing Viking, 2001Prizes and awards1983 Fawcett Society Book Prize Union Street1993 Guardian Fiction Prize The Eye in the Door1994 Northern Electric Special Arts Prize The Eye in the Door1995 Booker Prize for Fiction The Ghost Road1996 Booksellers' Association Author of the Year Award2000 CBE

Born in Jarrow in 1935 and brought up in Hull. Many credits in radio, television film and theatre. An absolute legend. Hull City supporter and Jazz afficianado.
Better known work includes ‘The Beiderbecke Trilogy’’Barchester Chronicles’ and ‘Fortunes of War’ but his work is as popular as he is prolific.
Has won BAFTA’s and EMMY’s.
Co-wrote ‘Close the Coalhouse Door with Alex Glasgow and Sid Chaplin. Which seals his fate as a legend in the North East.
Close the Coalhouse Door lad
There’s bones inside
There’s blood inside
There’s bairns inside.
So come outside.
Alex Glasgow

ANDREW CRUMEY. Novelist, Editor.
Andrew Crumey is the author of three previous novels, Music, in a Foreign Language, Pfitz and D’Alembert’s Principle. He lives in Newcastle.
Following the advice of his long-suffering housekeeper, genial octogenarian Mr Mee abandons dusty books and turns to the Internet in search of Rosier’s Encyclopaedia, a lost book proposing the philosophy of an alternative universe. Instead he finds a photograph of a naked girl reading Ferrand and Minard: Jean-Jacques Roussaeu and the Search For Lost Time.Meanwhile, in spring of 1761, the two French copyists Ferrand and Minard find themselves in possession of Rosier’s Encyclopaedia and pursued by the authorities who want to claim its secrets for themselves. The interwoven stories which follow concern Rousseau’s madness, a dying scholar’s love, and Mr Mee’s belated discovery of sex, drugs and Jimmy Shand. Crumey, whose writing has been widely compared to Borges and Calvino, has produced a philosophical thriller of breathtaking originality. The seamless collage of history’ fantasy and intellectual caprice results in a witty narrative which ultimately provides a history of the Internet.

BITING BACK Anthology of stories IRON PRESS 2001 Ed. Kitty Fitzgerald.
Features stories by Chrissie Glazebrook, Chaz Brenchley, Margaret Wilkinson, Julia Darling, David Almond, Andrea Badenoch amongst others.
‘Sophisticated, tart and original, these stories will sting your senses and touch your emotions’ - Helen Dunmore.
‘It was summertime in the North East of England . The room was small and I hunched my shoulders as I walked in. There was a fire blazing in a cute little fireplace. I stood right in fron of it burning my face and my knees. The backs of my legs however remained cold.’ From ‘The Intruder’ by Margaret Wilkinson.

SOME BOOKS BY NORTH EAST WRITERS OR WITH A NORTH EAST SETTING. 2 (as featured on North Tyneside’s library website)
Daniel Easterman: Night of the Seventh Darkness
Valerie Georgeson : Seeds of Love
Margaret Graham: Only the Wind is Free
Sheila Jansen : Mary Maddison
Stephen Laws : Ghost Train

Illustrating the range and vision of a most humane writer, this anthology brings together six previously unpublished but successfully staged plays by C.P. Taylor. Taylor was unique in being equally at ease writing for the RSC and the West End or local theatre such as the Newcastle-based Live Theatre Co. He died aged 52 in 1981, leaving a phenomenal legacy of more than 70 plays written in little more than 20 years.

Barry Unsworth : Novelist
'As a child I was beset by the sense of secret pathways, tracks leading away from, running alongside, occasionally touching, the ones everyone knew about. They could be anywhere, wherever there was cover. There were privileged people who could step into them at will because they knew the access points. Or you could somehow blunder upon them.This sense of hidden alternatives was always like possessing a secret and it always involved a sort of conflict with the familiar world. All my fiction starts from a feeling of unique perception, the pressure of a secret, a story that needs to be told. Before it can be properly told one needs to explore the ways, find embodiments in character, deal with the weather and the look of things, get it right. But whatever the ramifications, whatever turns the path takes, the beginning is always there, in a particular moment, a particular point of access.' BiographyNovelist Barry Unsworth was born in 1930. He grew up in a small mining community in County Durham, in the north of England. After studying English at Manchester University and completing two years national service, he lived in France for a year where he taught English. He travelled extensively in Greece and Turkey during the 1960s, teaching at the Universities of Istanbul and Athens.He was Visiting Literary Fellow at the Universities of Durham and Newcastle, and was Writer in Residence at Liverpool University in 1985 and at the University of Lund, Sweden, for the British Council, in 1988. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His first novel, The Partnership, was published in 1966. It was followed by The Greeks Have a Word For It (1967), The Hide (1970), and Mooncranker's Gift (1973), winner of the Heinemann Award. Pascali's Island (1980) is set during the last years of the Ottoman empire. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction and was later adapted as a film starring Ben Kingsley. The Rage of the Vulture (1982), develops a similar historical narrative through the story of a British spy in Constantinople. Stone Virgin (1985) interpolates the story of a contemporary restorer working on a Venetian Madonna with earlier related episodes set in the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. Sugar and Rum (1988) was inspired by Unsworth's residency at Liverpool University and contrasts the city's contemporary problems with its prosperous heritage. Research for the book led him to write Sacred Hunger (1992), a powerful account of the Atlantic slave trade that moves from Liverpool to West Africa, Florida and the West Indies. It was joint winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1992. More recent novels include Morality Play (1995), a murder mystery set in the fourteenth century, and After Hannibal (1996), a portrait of warring neighbours living in modern Umbria. Losing Nelson (1999), is a portrait of a biographer with an obsessive interest in his subject. His most recent novel, set during the Trojan War, is The Songs of the Kings (2002).Barry Unsworth lives in Umbria, Italy. He was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by Manchester University in 1998. BibliographyThe Partnership New Authors, 1966The Greeks Have a Word For It Hutchinson, 1967The Hide Gollancz, 1970Mooncranker's Gift Allen Lane, 1973The Big Day Michael Joseph, 1976Pascali's Island Michael Joseph, 1980The Rage of the Vulture Granada, 1982Stone Virgin Hamish Hamilton, 1985Sugar and Rum Hamish Hamilton, 1988Sacred Hunger Hamish Hamilton, 1992Morality Play Hamish Hamilton, 1995After Hannibal Hamish Hamilton, 1996Losing Nelson Hamish Hamilton, 1999The Songs of the Kings Hamish Hamilton, 2002Prizes and awards1974 Heinemann Award Mooncranker's Gift1980 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Pascali's Island1992 Booker Prize for Fiction (joint winner) Sacred Hunger1995 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Morality Play

Tom Hadaway is the most acclaimed living dramatist in the North-East, and the three plays published here affirm a strongly poetic stage voice which speaks powerfully for a region and a way of life it knows intimately. All three plays have the backdrop of the North Shields fishing community, and all three were originally produced on stage by Newcastle's Live Theatre Company, with whom Hadaway has had a long association.

Thirty playwrights applied to be a part of the project, sponsored by a grant from the ‘Arts 4 Everyone’ scheme. New Writing North commissioned five new plays.
April 6th until the 10th at the Gulbenkian Studio at Newcastle Playhouse Theatre.

Vigo by Bill Martin
Performed by BOSS,
Directed by Foolsyard.
‘The play explores the life of Jean Vigo, France’s first independent film director. A fractured childhood leads to a fractured life lived as art’

Bill Martin
Founded a young people’s theatre group in the sixties in London. The company toured with varios productions including Martin’s ‘Clowns’ a piece about community care commissioned by the United Nations. In the seventies Bill was awarded the Northern Arts Playwright fellowship and was writer in residence at Sunderland Polytechnic. Commissions with East Midlands Arts and the National Theatre ‘Four Weeks in the City’.

When we were Queens by Peter Straughan
Performed by Barrow Youth Theatre
Directed by Wils Wilson.
Shakespearian theatre land meets new Labour values a young cross dressing actors struggle to make sense of their identity in this surreal black comedy.

Born in Gateshead in 1968. Straughan acted for a while ("I was terrible"), left his literature course at Newcastle University to play guitar with a punk band for five years, and worked in a music shop until his plays were accepted Stage plays produced in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Including ’18-12’ (Rummage Theatre Co. London), ‘Rat’ (Pink Pony Theatre, New York) and ‘The Ghost Of Federico Garcia Lorca Which Can also be Used as a Table’ (Northern Stage Lorca Festival, Newcastle Upon Tyne). His short fiction has won several regional and national competitions and was selected for the British Council’s ‘ New Writing Seven’ anthology. Awarded a Northern Arts Writer’s Award in 1997 and an Arts Council Theatre Bursary and the C.P.Taylor Playwright’s bursary. A play ‘ Bones’ directed by Max Roberts in 1999 when he was commissioned by New Writing North and Live Theatre’s writing initiative.

Performed by Customs House Youth Arts Group
Directed by Wils Wilson and Phil Hoffmann.
Young people on the margins of society, young people at the risk of having too good a time at everyone else’s expense. A surprise brick of gold through your front window - or a ‘Lord of the Flies’ for the ‘e’ generation.

C Byrnes
Was born and brought up in London and Newcastle upon Tyne where she currently lives and works. Published work including short stories and academic essays. Several plays at the Edinburgh Festival and performed at the Gulbenkian in Newcastle. Commissions include work for Twisted Stockings Theatre Co, New Writing North /Live Theatre initiative and for Rod Arthur (RSC). Winner of the Student Playwright Award 1996 and the National ‘Understanding Literature’ Playwrighting award 1997. Awarded a Arts Council Encouragement Bursary in 1999. Various commissions and rsidencies.

Daytime by Ann Coburn
Performed by the Maltings Theatre Group.
Directed by Rachel Ashton, Friday 9th April.
When do daytime TV chat shows go too far? If you agree to take part, is your whole lifestyle up for exploitation by the media? Meet Max Leonard, the undisputed king of daytime TV...

Ann Coburn
Born in Northumberland where she lives with husband and children.
An award winning theatre writer whose plays include ‘ Get up and Tie you Fingers which won the 1997 John Whiting Award for new theatre writing. Her television work includes ‘Refuge’ a drama for ITV set on Lindisfarne. She was on the writing team for the ITV drama ‘The Bill’. Her first book for young people ‘The Granite Beast’ was shortlisted for the Book of the Year Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal, She followed this with ‘Welcome to the Real World’ and ‘The Domino Effect’. ‘Borderlands’ set in North Northumberland was adapted for the BBC.

Souled Out by Jeff Williams
Performed by Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans, Directed by Kay Hepplewaite,
It is the 1970’s, beer is 25p a pint, it’s Friday night and you should be dancing at Wigan Casino...

Has been a professional writer for fourteen years.
Work includes a children’s picture book, ‘The Magician’s Cat’ An adaptation of his stage play, ‘ Big Time Charlie Tomato’ was shown at the Johannesburg Film Festival in 1997. Wrote two episodes of ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ series for Tyne Tees Television 1995. Works for the stage include ‘ God’s Little Garden’ winner of the Kate Collingwood Award in 1993. ‘Potter’s Field’ which played Edinburgh Festival in 1994 and ‘The Far Corner’ an adaptation of Harry Pearson’s book about North East Football.

Anne Fine is a distinguished writer for children of all ages, with over forty books to her credit. As well as being chosen as Children's Laureate in 2001, she is twice winner of the Carnegie Medal, Britain's most coveted children's literature award, and has also won the Guardian Children's Literature Award, the Whitbread Children's Novel Award twice, and a Smarties Prize. She won the Publishing News Children's Author of the Year Award in 1990 and again in 1993.
Her books for older children include the award winning The Tulip Touch and Goggle-Eyes which was adapted for television by the BBC. Twentieth Century Fox filmed her novel Madame Doubtfire as Mrs Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams. Her books for younger children include Bill's New Frock and How to Write Really Badly. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages.
Anne Fine has also written for adults. Her novels The Killjoy , Taking the Devil's Advice ,In Cold Domain , Telling Liddy and, most recently, All Bones and Lies , have been published to considerable critical acclaim.
Anne Fine has two grown up daughters, and lives in County Durham.

Carol Clewlow trained as a journalist. She worked for all the national papers as a freelance before giving up full-time journalism to study English and Philosophy at university. Her first novel, Keeping the Faith, begun in her last year was short listed for the Whitbread First Novel Prize. Her best known book is the best-selling A Woman's Guide to Adultery, subsequently made into a TV mini-series. It was translated into 15 languages and was recently republished as a Virago Modern Classic. She has written two other novels, Love in the Modern Sense, and One for the Money, and has a novella, The Spirit of Things due to be published on the Liverpool John Moore's University web-site later this year. She has had short stories broadcast on the radio and adapted one novel - One for the Money - for performance at the Edinburgh Fringe. Recently the country's first writer in residence at a UK medical school, she is a founder member of Operating Theatre, a drama group designed to bring members of the health professions and the performing arts together to explore medical practice. She teaches imaginative writing and media studies.

Stephen Laws is a full-time novelist still living in Newcastle upon Tyne where he was born. His first novel - Ghost Train - was published in 1985. Since then, he has published many other supernatural-horror-thriller novels. He is winner of the British Fantasy Society Award, regular host of the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films and has recently completed a screenplay for a movie version of one of his novels , Darkfall, to be filmed in the near future.
Has made a living as a writer since the age of eighteen. A recipient of the British Fantasy Award and a Northern Writer of the Year Award, Chaz likes cats , cooking and is one of the most versatile and talented writers in the country.His website is a delight.
Light Errant won the August Derleth Fantasy Award for best novel, 1998
Time Again (as Carol Trent) - Fontana (pbk), 1983, UK
The Samaritan - Hodder & Stoughton, 1988, UK; St Martin's, 1988, USA; Coronet (pbk), 1989, UK; St Martin's (pbk), 1989, USA
The Refuge - Hodder & Stoughton, 1989, UK; St Martin's, 1989, USA; Coronet (pbk), 1990, UK
The Garden - Hodder & Stoughton, 1990, UK; Coronet (pbk), 1991, UK
Mall Time - Hodder & Stoughton, 1991, UK; Coronet (pbk), 1992, UK
Paradise - Hodder & Stoughton, 1994, UK; NEL (pbk), 1994, UK
Dead of Light - Hodder & Stoughton, 1995, UK; NEL (pbk), 1996, UK
Blood Waters (short stories) - Flambard Press, 1995, UK
Dispossession - Hodder & Stoughton, 1996, UK; NEL (pbk), 1997, UK
Light Errant - Hodder & Stoughton, 1997, UK; NEL (pbk), 1998, UK
Tower of the King's Daughter - Orbit (pbk), 1998, UK
Shelter - Hodder & Stoughton, 1999, UK; NEL (pbk), 1999, UK
Feast of the King's Shadow - Orbit (Pbk) 2000 , UK,
Hand of the King's Evil - Orbit (Pbk) 2002 ,UK
Children's work
The Thunder Sings - Arnold Wheaton (pbk), 1988, UK.
The Fishing Stone - Arnold Wheaton (pbk), 1988, UK
The Dragon in the Ice - Arnold Wheaton (pbk), 1988, UK

BRYAN TALBOT Graphic Novelist.
Bryan Talbot was born in Wigan in 1952. He attended Wigan Grammar School before doing a foundation year at the Wigan School of Art, before obtaining an LSIA in Graphic Design from Preston Polytechnic. Bryan started drawing comics for his own amusement in 1960. His first published illustrations appeared in the British Tolkien Society Magazine in 1969. In 1971, in conjunction with Bonk, a fellow student, he produced a weekly comic strip, Superharris, for the college newspaper.
After completing his education Bryan worked in the drawing office at British Aerospace and as a graphic designer at Longcastle Advertising Agency. However his real creative spirit was devoted to the underground press by creating the BRAINSTORM COMIX. The first three issues contained the 65 page story of Chester P. Hackenbush - The Psychedelic Alchemist. This was reprinted in 1982 in one volume entitled Brainstorm. The MIXED BUNCH issue of Brainstorm Comix included a 7 page strip - "The Papist Affair" - the seed from which The Adventures of Luther Arkwright was later to grow. Issue Six; Amazing Rock and Roll Adventures featured Bryan's 23 page story The Omega Report, an SF/rock-comedy thriller cum private dick pastiche.
In 1978 Bryan began Frank Fazakerly, Space Ace of the Future, a Flash Gordon/Dan Dare take-off, for AD ASTRA, and The Adventures of Luther Arkwright for NEAR MYTHS. This title ran for five issues and work on the Arkwright saga was halted until 1981, when its serialisation began again in PSSST! magazine. In 1982, Never Ltd published Rat-trap - Volume One of the Arkwright trilogy.
After completing Rat-trap, Bryan created over a hundred illustrations for a series of German role-playing-game books and wrote and drew Scumworld for a year for SOUNDS.
In 1981 he worked with SF writer Bob Shaw on the Granada arts programme CELEBRATION to produce Encounter with a Madman.
In 1983 he began working for 2000AD, and with Pat Mills produced three books in the popular Nemesis The Warlock series. The first in these won an Eagle award for Best Comic Album and the character Torquemada the Favourite British Villain award for three years running. He also worked on Judge Dredd by Alan Grant and John Wagner, which included the production of full colour strips for the IPC annuals and the 20 page RPG strip in the first issue of DICEMAN.
Over the years Bryan has created a variety of comic strips for publications as diverse as HOME GROWN and IMAGINE, magazine illustrations, including covers for DC SUPERHEROS MONTHLY and COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES, Rock and SF art Prints, posters, badges and logos.
In 1989 he broke into the American market, when Jamie Delano asked him to draw the first Hellblazer Annual for DC. This was the start of an association over the Atlantic which has recently spread from DC to Dark Horse.
In 1990 he worked with American Tom Veitch, whose underground comix work he had admired years before. The result of this collaboration was The Nazz for DC, a superhero comic seeped in symbolism and graphically depicting the outcome of achieving absolute power.
Still with DC Bryan has drawn a number of Sandman titles and a Shade the Changing Man.
In 1992 Bryan had an idea for a Batman story while lazing in bed. Two weeks later, at the Glasgow Comic Convention, he then met Archie Goodwin who had just taken over as the editor on Legends Of The Dark Knight, the more prodigious of the many Batman titles. Bryan told him he had a story and Archie told him to send him a proposal. It sounded like a polite way of getting rid of him and Bryan didn't take it any further. But six months later when he saw Archie again the first thing Archie demanded to know was the whereabouts of the proposal Bryan had promised. So Bryan sat down at the word processor and within two weeks Archie had accepted the story and told Bryan to spread it over two issues. The story concerned the possibility that Batman was a deluded drunkard who thought he was a hero, or alternatively Batman has a breakdown and believes he is a down-and out. The reality is unknown right to the end, and accuracy in the madness element was lent by Bryan's personal psychological advisor; Keith Marsland.
Most recently Bryan has devoted three years to writing and drawing THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT, which was published by Dark Horse. HEART OF EMPIRE followed and he is currently working on an odyssey based on Lewis Carroll in Sunderland where he lives.

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