This life of the acclaimed author of War Horse, is a biography interspersed with autobiographical stories written by Michael Morpurgo himself.
Michael Morpurgo is a national treasure. With books such as ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ and ‘The Wreck of the Zanzibar’ he has enchanted a whole generation of children, weaving stories for them in a way that is neither contrived nor condescending. His is a rare gift.
In 2007, Michael’s novel ‘War Horse’ was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre. Five years on, it continues to play to packed audiences of all ages and has been turned into a blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg, propelling Morpurgo to household-name status.
Michael’s own story is as strange and surprising as any he has written, and is shot through with the same thread of sadness found in almost all his work. How did this supremely unbookish boy who dreamed of becoming an army officer become a bestselling author and Children’s Laureate instead? What personal price has he paid for success? And why, amidst his triumphs, is he now haunted by regret?
In a unique collaboration, Maggie Fergusson explores Michael Morpurgo’s life through seven biographical chapters, to which he responds with seven stories. The portrait that emerges is one of light and shade: the light very bright, the shade complex and often painful.
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‘What [Maggie Fergusson] has done is to present, with tact and insight, a man who is clearly complex, ferociously energetic, idealistic, not always easy to get on with but – at least in the words of his friend Philip Pullman – “a truly good man”.’ Penelope Lively, Spectator
‘The story of Michael Morpurgo is as fine a yarn as any of his novels.’ Brandon Robshaw, Independent on Sunday
‘A boy of 10, a soldier, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a performer and a crusader …Morpurgo has written seven stories reflecting on these roles and they are a joy to read.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Despite her cosy relationship with her subject she offers him no comfortable ride … Morpurgo has worked hard for his success. This compassionate and appreciative biography of a good man is nothing less that his due.’ Nicholas Tucker, IndependentAbout the Author:
Maggie Fergusson is Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature and Literary Editor of Intelligent Life. Her first book, George Mackay Brown: The Life, won the Saltire First Book Prize, the Marsh Biography Award, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award and the Scottish Arts Council Biography Award.
Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children. He was written over 100 books and won many prizes, including the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award. His bestselling novels include Kensuke’s Kingdom, Shadow, Private Peaceful, An Elephant in the Garden and Born to Run. He was made Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, a role which took him all over the country to inspire children with the joy of reading stories.
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