Lost & Found

By Elizabeth Garner

A treasure trove of folk tales by Elizabeth Garner

Fiction | Illustrated
51% funded
287 supporters
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Page Fright Workshop

This three hour creative writing workshop will take place at your school and will cater for up to twelve students (aged 15 to 18). Elizabeth has taught creative writing across a range of ages and abilities. The workshop will be tailored to the specific needs of the class – from confident writers to reluctant readers. It can be adapted to refer to set texts of GCSE and A Level. Students will be guided through the process of creating a story, and feedback will be provided on the piece of writing created on the day. Includes a signed copy of the book for each attendee.
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“Garner writes of myth with lyricism and sensitivity, she is steeped in the gift for being able to control the surreal with startling force.”

Amanda Craig, The Times

Lost & Found is my own retelling of 15 treasured folk tales that have nurtured and sustained me; terrified and enthralled me in equal measure. I am collaborating with Young Wood Engraver of the Year Phoebe Connolly to create an illustrated, beautifully crafted book that is true to tradition and also speaks directly to the modern world.

As a child, the diverse cast of folk tale characters – the foes and the friends – were my own extraordinary companions as I explored the fields and woods of my local village. The folk tales both enriched the landscape and also enabled me to travel beyond it. I could follow Trickster Jack through his adventures above the world I knew and beneath it; I could ride on the back of the Black Bull of Noroway, across the mountains as I solved the riddles of the three castles; I could fly above the never-ending pine forests of Russia sitting beside iron-toothed Baba Yaga the bony-legged witch, riding in her pestle and mortar. I would always get back safely in the end, but I would return home changed.

Included in the collection are stories such as...

The Riddle of the Crossroads • The Twisted Oak • The Wits of the Whetstone • The Roots of Fortune • Johnnie He Not • The Black Bull's Bride • Stealing the Moon • The Troll King's Sister • Just Jimmy and more...

Folk tales take us beyond our own boundaries into unknown lands. Yet within these adventures, riddles and enchantments we find our common ground. Motifs repeat across stories, subtly varied according to the cultural values and also the landscape of their place of origin, but are still familiar and they speak to our shared humanity. They are tools for living which have survived because they are as relevant now as they ever were.

Some of the folk tales are taken from those books of my childhood, others are remembered and rediscovered. Some I first heard spoken, during evenings spent in the company of a wonderful community of storytellers that I have been lucky enough to meet in my adult life. They have always been generous in sharing their source material, true to the oral tradition: the old tales are meant to be passed on to whoever might have use for them. Other stories I sought out as I wrote my novels. When stuck at a plot point or needing to find the root of a tricky character it is always the folk tales that I return to and they always show me the way out of the woods. 

The title Lost & Found reflects a common thread within this collection: the heroes and heroines of the stories who stray from the safer paths in life and find themselves in unknown worlds, which lurk just behind the surface of the world we know. The mysterious objects that are discovered within these adventures, whose purpose is revealed when true magic is most needed. The truth of the inner self that is found when all hope and love seems to be lost.

The title also reflects the process of development and research. I have identified the 15 tales that I want to tell, but I will be going back to the source material, stitching together fragments and variations into my own individual tapestry of words. Whilst the structure and content will remain true to the tradition, I will be following my personal path through the stories – exploring character, context and cultural background whilst still retaining the sense of wonder and otherness that is so central to these narratives. 

This collection of tales remembered, rediscovered and retold, is another link in the chain between storyteller, listener and our shared ancestors. Tales from the past, told to enrich the present and to be carried forward into the future.



About the Book

  • Hardback with jacket
  • 272pp
  • 15 black & white illustrations

 

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  • Elizabeth Garner avatar

    Elizabeth Garner

    Elizabeth Garner is the author of two novels: Nightdancing and The Ingenious Edgar Jones, both of which were influenced by traditional Folk Tale narratives and motifs. Lost & Found is her first collection of rewritten stories.


    The daughter of author Alan Garner and English teacher Griselda Garner, Elizabeth grew up in a home and landscape rich in imaginative play and folklore. It was there that she first encountered the oral storytelling tradition and has been an avid supporter ever since. 


    She studied English literature at Oxford University and trained as a film script editor, working for a variety of European and US production companies. She now works as a freelance fiction editor and teaches creative writing.



    She is the arts Trustee at The Blackden Trust, an educational charity established by her parents at the family home in Cheshire – where the promotional video for Lost and Found was filmed.

  • Johnnie He Not

    Once there was a farmer’s wife and her name was Tibbie. She had her own particular way of looking at the world, paying more attention to what was lacking in her life than to the counting of her blessings. Her husband was a man of work rather than words and he had little time for her complaints.

    Whilst the farmer tended his land and his livestock, Tibbie sat alone at the kitchen hearth. She whispered her longings to the flickering flames, of how she would give all that she had in return for the one thing she had not – a child. As the coals shifted against the grate and sighed in sympathy, someone or something heard her.

    Read more...
  • 4th December 2019 50% and more of Johnnie He Not

    Another month, another threshold!  I am so delighted to reach the 50% as we go forth into December.  Both Phoebe and myself are absolutely thrilled by your support.  We wouldn't have got here without your belief in the book and you all, quite literally, spreading the word.  Thanks so much. 

    In celebration I've released some more of the Johnnie He Not story, updated on the Exerpt link on the Project…

    20th November 2019 Hagstones, A Sparrow & 40%

    I continue to be amazed and delighted by the support you are all showing to Phoebe and myself, thank you so much. I've been spending a couple of days field-bound at The Blackden Trust in Cheshire - the educational and creative charity that my parents founded and where the video for Lost & Found was filmed.  This is where my love of Folk Tales was nurtured, it's wonderful to have reached the 40% mark…

    8th November 2019 An amazing week & more of a story to tell...

    What an amazing week this has been!  I'm so delighted by - and grateful for - the support that's gathering for Lost & Found.  There are now twice as many of you as there were on Monday... 200 backers and 34% funded!

    It's just wonderful to know that there is such a strong, supportive community out there, cheering myself and Phoebe on.  Thank you for showing such faith in the book. Do please continue…

    4th November 2019 Another milestone reached & a new reward launched!

    I was absolutely thrilled to reach the 100 backers milestone over the weekend.  It's so encourgaing to have so many of you signed up already, thank you for all your generous support and belief in the project, it's hugely appreciated!

    I also have exciting news... As a result of  specific requests, we have put together a new featured reward: the Bespoke Bookclub.  It's a tailormade evening, where…

    31st October 2019 Happy Samhain!

    Thank you so much to all of you who have pledged so far and shown such generous support for the book.  It's so exciting to have got over the 15% mark in the first week.  Lovely to know that so many of you want these stories and these woodcarved worlds to make it onto the page.  Do please continue to post and share and help Lost & Found become a reality. 

    It also feels very appropriate to have crossed…

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