The Books that mark us most profoundly – are the ones we read as children.
This thought provoking quote is from the author and clinical psychologist Gwendolyn Smith.
I hope she will forgive me for reproducing part of her article on the subject below, as it is not only relevant, but an interestingly timely subject for me.
Some sneer that children’s books are rife with nostalgia – but the nostalgia in question is a yearning, not for a simpler time but for a simpler way of seeing. Childhood overlaps with a period where the future seems wide open.
What we are looking to resurrect isn’t the past, but this beguilingly cheery perspective.
I will credit her further by pointing out that you can read her profile and book reviews or follow her blog by a quick search on Google.
For my part, a reader of my own blog will know how much the problem of finding representation as a writer has proved a daunting task. So much so of late, that I had almost reached a point of deciding, not to give up on writing, but to use my precious time on that very thing, rather than the tedious procedure and wasted hours on seemingly futile submissions.
The majority of my work falls easily into the category of Women s romantic fiction. Short stories and short novels as well as full length running to 100,000 K. All unpublished. So it was a complete surprise to find an agent who chose to first represent me, not on the above but on the Children’s story, one of a trilogy I wrote sometime back in the 1990’s while living in India.
I never dreamt of submitting it. Pre- mobile phones, set in the real world, in this case India at the time, I simply never imagined that today’s children, glued to their digital devices and endless TV streaming would find it interesting. Interesting to simply go off on an adventure, solve mysteries and discover the planet on which we actually live as opposed to the alien and fantasy worlds that permeate so much popular fiction for all ages today.
I thought about the books that had profoundly marked my own childhood. C.S Lewis and Noel Streatfield, Robert Louis Stevenson, so much that even today they remain almost part of my psyche and perhaps contribute to the ability to view life, even one filled with tragedy and sadness, loss and pain to contain that beguilingly cheery perspective that anything is possible and there is beauty to be found in small things.
I liked her idea. To think back on the books we loved in childhood, whatever out age group and by doing so, gain insight on who we have become but also recapture that feeling where the future seems wide open.