Where Shall We Run To? - Alan Garner - review

There is no doubt that Alan Garner is a remarkable writer, for whom a sense of place is absolutely central to his writing - so it's not entirely surprising that in this memoir of his childhood up to the age of 11 (with a couple of short articles from later years), the location where he was brought up - Alderley Edge - plays as much as part as his childhood friends and relations.

This was not the Alderley Edge of the modern football star - the village from mid-1930s to mid-1940s was a typical large rural village of the period with the familiar combination of eccentrics and everyday occurrences. Garner was a sickly child, whose illnesses also have a major influence on what we read.

For such a sophisticated writer, there is a deceptively simple style, relating events in a way that seems not much different to the way the young Garner himself might have related them - relatively little pastoral description, far more on what happened, with a casual attitude to time that enables him to …

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