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Read for Your Life #18

Read for Your Life #18

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Read for Your Life #18

Длина:
29 страниц
27 минут
Издатель:
Издано:
11 окт. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9780547507569
Формат:
Книга

Описание

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is publishing a monthly series of e-only essays to correspond with Katherine Paterson’s two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The subjects of the essays include: writing and literature for young people, the wonder and imagination found within great books, common questions novice writers ask, and Katherine’s own personal experiences throughout her historic career.
Издатель:
Издано:
11 окт. 2011 г.
ISBN:
9780547507569
Формат:
Книга

Об авторе

Katherine Paterson is one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved authors. Among her many awards are two Newberys and two National Book Awards, and she was recently named a "Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She has been published in more than 22 languages in a variety of formats, from picture books to historical novels.


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Read for Your Life #18 - Katherine Paterson

19...

Up from Elsie Dinsmore

FROM GATES OF EXCELLENCE

Pat! Pat! Pat!

There is the cat.

Where is the rat?

Pat, pat, pat.

As well as I can determine, this is my first published work. It appeared in the Shanghai American, our school newspaper, when I was seven years old. I cannot believe that any teacher or parent, however doting, having read my early works, would have singled me out for a literary career.

From such primitive beginnings, I progressed by the age of eight to imitations of Elsie Dinsmore. Elsie, for those of you fortunate enough never to have been exposed to her, was a pious Victorian child whose mother was dead and whose father was an unfeeling unbeliever. The scene in Elsie Dinsmore that remains with me forever is the one in which Elsie's father commands her to play the piano for some of his friends. But, alas, it is Sunday, and Elsie's religious code prohibits her from such frivolity on the Sabbath. Imagine the moral dilemma—one commandment demands that she honor her father, the other demands that she keep the Sabbath. Elsie sits on the piano stool, unwilling to play and yet forbidden to leave until she obeys. At last, she swoons to the floor. By fainting she brings her stern father to his knees in penitence. He realizes his great love for his beautiful and angelic child, and Elsie lives happily ever after through interminable sequels. Mrs. Finley, who knew a good thing when she had one, took little Elsie straight through to saintly grandmotherhood.

Imagine, if you can without damaging the mind, imitations of Elsie Dinsmore written by an eight-year-old. Compared to these early prose efforts, Pat! Pat! Pat! was a literary gem.

When she felt I might be getting a little uppity the other day, a friend suggested that I had not yet written War and Peace. And though I must readily concede that indeed I have not, still, looking back on those early days, I can't help the feeling that I've come, as the saying goes, a long way, baby. And yet, the child I was is not a different person from the woman I have become. That pious little hellion with delusions of grandeur still lives, and I

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