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  • Christine Went

Real, at last

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have books.

Anthony Buckeridge, Enid Blyton, Noel Streatfeild, Josephine Elder… The favourites of childhood gave way to the scandalous, the romantic and the scary of my teens: Grace Metalious, Alan Sillitoe, Emily Brontё, H. P. Lovecraft.

They were joined by Stephen King, Marilyn French, John Wyndham, Dorothy L. Sayers, Terry Pratchett, Madeline Miller, Kate Atkinson, Malcolm Pryce and a host of others.

I live with an ever-growing accumulation of books, the names on the covers proclaiming that these are the manifestations of real people. Real.

All my life I’ve had the notion that being in print made one real. Perhaps this was what Charlotte Brontё meant when she said that she wanted to be forever known.”

It’s certainly true that an enduring literary work ensures the survival of the author’s name. I don’t know whether my work will endure, but for now, ‘Llantathan’ sits on my bookshelf, my name alongside all the rest.

Real, at last.

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