27.09.04 The child that books built: a memoir
22.05.04 Saturday Review (see below)
25.07.04 Open Book (see below)
21.08.00 Dead Media (feature, see below)
22 May 04. Tom Sutcliffe and his guests Anthony Horowitz, Francis
Spufford and Michelene Wandor discuss the cultural
highlights of the week including a new production of
Measure for Measure at the National Theatre and an
exhibition of the work of the American artist Edward
Hopper at Tate Modern.
Writer Francis Spufford presents a special edition of the programme looking at Greek myths and their retelling.
(FS is regular presenter of this programme).
The Child That Books Built....2004
This is Francis Spufford's brilliant and moving memoir about his own voracious childhood reading habit and the family tragedy which lay behind it.
For this original radio version, Francis Spufford reads the memoir himself, while a small group of actors perform the specially dramatised scenes from the books he read, as if they are playing themselves out in the imagination of Francis' younger self.
The drama moves through Spufford's reading, from his early memories of having fairy stories read to him, through his stumbling first attempt to master The Hobbit, and then through later categories of fiction - adventure stories such as Swallows and Amazons, where family life seemed so much more robust than his own; the almost addictive thrill of the Narnia books; the small town life of Laura Ingalls Wilder or Harper Lee, where a child might function successfully just beyond the claustrophobic boundaries of family life; school stories and horror stories and then a return to fantasy with teennage Science Fiction. Against this account of his reading, he tells of his sister's health - a brief optimistic interlude and her eventual death.
Francis Spufford digs into the history of four media inventions and discovers what each one says about our relationship with the mechanised world. 1: `The Semaphore Tower.'
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections
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