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The Child that Books Built

Francis Spufford

The Child that Books Built is Francis Spufford’s celebrated memoir and investigation into childhood and reading.

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The anticipated new novel by Francis Spufford, Light Perpetual, is now available to preorder!

What would you find if you went back and re-read your favourite books from childhood?

In The Child That Books Built Francis Spufford revisits all those childhood obsessions: fairy tales; Where the Wild Things Are; The Lord of the Rings; The Chronicles of Narnia; Little House on the Prairie; The Wind in the Willows; The Earthsea Trilogy and more. In these treasured tales Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness – the thrill as worlds of imagination opened up before him mixed with the memories of a boy who retreated into books when faced with a family tragedy.

Critic Reviews

Exuberant and serious, funny and sophisticated, this memoir of reading and childhood is a delight.

Andrea Ashworth, author of Once in a House on Fire
Critic Reviews

Short, dense, allusive and ferociously bright . . . A memoir about how, what and why we read as children.

Nick Hornby, Guardian Books of the Year
Critic Reviews

A beautifully composed and wholly original memoir, sounding the classics of children's literature, while examining the effect obsessive reading had on one bookish boy.

David Sexton, Evening Standard
Critic Reviews

Parents, non-parents, ex-children, anyone who reads or ever read children's books -- read this. It's a joy.

Irish Times

Francis Spufford was born in 1964. He is the author of five celebrated books of non-fiction. The most recent, Unapologetic, has been translated into three languages; the one before, Red Plenty, into nine. He has been longlisted or shortlisted for prizes in science writing, historical writing, political writing, theological writing, and writing ‘evoking the spirit of place’. His first novel.…

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