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Monday, April 17, 2023

Writing words that 'fit' for all


“I don't want my books to exclude anyone, but if they have to, then I would rather they excluded the people who feel they are too smart for them!” – Nick Hornby

Hornby, born in England on this date in 1957, writes about ordinary people in ways that translate into best-sellers, like Fever Pitch, About a Boy and High Fidelity.    Fever Pitch, while written about a fan’s obsession (based on his own) with English soccer, was made into an even bigger hit as an American movie adaptation focusing on Jimmy Fallon’s character’s obsession with the Boston Red Sox.
Music also plays a big role in Hornby's writing, again based on his own experiences.  Hornby has had long and fruitful collaborations with the rock band Marah and even toured in the United States and Europe with the band, joining them on stage to read from his essays.   And, he's had great collaborations with singer/songwriter Ben Folds, known to many as chief judge on the hit TV show “The Sing Off.”   Songwriters like using the universality of the words he writes.

Dedicated to helping kids with special needs, Hornby has donated all of his royalties from some of his 100-plus books to helping kids with autism.   He co-founded Ministry of Stories, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and young adults develop their writing skills, and to support teachers who inspire students to write, both literature and music lyrics.

“Sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward,” Hornby commented about the songs he enjoys.   “You (can) feel nostagic and hopeful all at the same time.”

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