Rumer Godden wrote over sixty books in her lifetime (1907-1998) for both adults and children. Her most acclaimed novel is Black Narcissus, adapted into an Oscar-winning film by Powell and Pressburger in 1947. She won the Whitbread Award for Children's Literature in 1972 and was awarded the OBE in 1993. Four of the titles Virago has acquired are for younger readers and will launch Virago Modern Classics Young Adult list in 2013.
It is a real privilege to have the opportunity to publish Rumer Godden, a true classic, on the Virago Modern Classics list. She is an incredible writer, and what is really special about her, particularly when one considers the era she was writing in, is what a contemporary sensibility she had; in her novels set in India especially, wherever her characters are from and whatever culture they belong to, their points of view are portrayed with sympathy and understanding. The customs, colours, sights and sounds of India are brought vividly to life, and the characters are unforgettable. That Godden is able to write as effectively for a child as for an adult attests to the quality of her work, and I believe there is a whole new audience ready to discover her books.
Virago has acquired fifteen titles including Black Narcissus, as well as The River and The Battle of the Villa Fiorita. The titles for younger readers are: Listen to the Nightingale and Thursday’s Children, both ballet-themed books, The Dark Horse and An Episode of Sparrows.
Virago will begin publishing in 2013.
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