Melvin Burgess at Roehampton

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess

Back in April, Melvin Burgess came to talk to students at Roehampton about his recent homage to Dickens, Nicholas Dane, which is taught on a course called ‘Literature and Childhood’. The talk drew postgraduates and interested staff as well as undergraduates, and Melvin widened his discussion to reflect on his best-known novel Junk, as well as some of his more recent projects in places as far-flung as Congo and Twitter. He answered a lot of questions about sex, drugs, and his favourite books too…

I am editing a scholarly collection of essays on Melvin’s work for Palgrave Macmillan, so while he was down in London I also undertook a longer interview to be part of this collection. It will be published next year as part of the New Casebook series, which is being launched with a focus on children’s authors. I’m very excited that Melvin Burgess features in the second way of these Casebooks (which already profile Roald Dahl, Robert Cormier, C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling), and am looking forward to helping get some of his early work – such as The Cry of the Wolf and The Baby and Fly Pie – critically examined, as well as reviewing the debates about his more controversial writing.

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About Alison Waller

I am a Senior Lecturer at the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (NCRCL) at Roehampton University in London. My main research areas are young adult fiction and the practice and philosophy of reading. My monograph Constructions of Adolescence in Fantastic Realism was published by Routledge in 2009 and I have also edited a collection of essays for the Palgrave Macmillan New Casebook Series on Melvin Burgess (2013). I am currently working on a project called Rereading Childhood Books: a Poetics, which asks how adults reread and negotiate relationships with books from their pasts.

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