“If I've got one thing that I really believe about fiction and life, it's that there are no minor characters.” – Jane Gardam
Celebrating her 89th birthday today, Gardam has earned numerous writing honors including two of Britain’s prestigious Whitbread Awards for Best Novel – for the 1981 children’s book The Hollow Land, and the 1991 adult book The Queen of the Tambourine. Among her more recent award winners are 2013’s Last Friends and 2014’s The Stories of Jane Gardam, a wonderful collection of some of her best short stories. When she’s not busy creating books and stories, she’s a reviewer for The Spectator, The Telegraph, and BBC radio.
A journalist first, she did not publish her first book until she was in her 40s. Since then she’s become one of the most prolific writers of her generation, with 30 books, numerous short stories and many journalistic pieces on her resumé. Writing, she said, has been in her blood since she was a little girl.
“I started to write as a child as soon as I could read, or even before, when my mother read me Beatrix Potter at bedtime,” she said. “Writing seemed to me to be the only sensible way to live and be happy.
“I just knew I would be a writer. It just seemed the only sensible thing to do. “
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