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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Don't Lump People Together

“I think one of the things you have to learn if you're going to create believable characters is never to make generalizations about groups of people.” – Mark Haddon

Born in Northampton, England in the fall of 1962, Haddon is a novelist and poet, best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (also made into an award-winning Broadway play).  The book won the Whitbread Award, the Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award, the Guardian Prize, and a Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Although written from the perspective of a 15-year-old boy with Asperger syndrome, Haddon claimed that this was the first book that he wrote intentionally for an adult audience.  He said he was surprised when his publisher suggested marketing it to both adult and child audiences, and it’s had phenomenal success with both audiences. 

While he has now written 5 best-selling adult books – including this year’s The Porpoise – Haddon said he still loves writing for youth, many of which he also has illustrated.  But, he said a book for kids has to stand up to incredible scrutiny.

“If kids like a picture book, they're going to read it at least 50 times,” he said.  “Read anything that often, and even minor imperfections start to feel like gravel in the bed.”

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