First Light

By Erica Wagner

An anthology celebrating the life of author Alan Garner

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Still shining...

What an exciting time we're having! I'm so thrilled by the reception of First Light -- here's a wonderful blog by Benjamin Myers, and another by Kate Macdonald. Kate's conclusion is one I'm awfully pleased to hear: "Despite all the necessary publicity and puffery needed to get this book off the ground, it’s a great addition to biography. I’m glad I subscribed." See? Sometimes puffery and publicity are all to a good end!

And the storytelling supper in the Medicine House, which some of our supporters were able to attend, was really rather magical, I must say, no small thanks to contributor and tale-spinner Nick Hennessey, and Elizabeth Garner, novelist and proud trustee of The Blackden Trust. If I needed a reminder of what a special place Alan and Griselda's extraordinary home is, well, this was it -- and do check out the Trust's website to see when the conducted tours are being held: there's one coming soon, on the 8th of June!

But it's interesting, isn't it, when there's something in air -- a concatenation of events which feel like more than just coincidence. So, if you're a supporter of First Light, I hope you won't mind if I mention two other books you might like. The first is The Beauty Things, a lovely collaboration between Alan and Mark Edmonds (yep, one of our contributors). It's an illustrated discussion of the objects which lie behind so much of Alan's writing, a beautiful back and forth between two old friends, each of whom has a different kind of knowledge. 

The second book is The Story of Alderley: Living With the Edge, which has been edited by John Prag (of course, of course, also a First Light contributor). This wonderfully hefty tome comes as a culmination of the Alderley Edge Landscape Project, a multi-disciplinary research programme of the Manchester Museum and the National Trust; the aim to study the entire history of Alderley, from geology to entomology, mining to oral history. 

Both would be worthy additions to the shelves of any admirer of Alan Garner's work. Right then -- I'm off to Shakespeare & Company in Paris to talk about First Light, lucky me! As ever -- many thanks to all of you, my staunch supporters. 

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