AuthorsWilliam Golding

Wikipedia says,

Sir William Gerald GoldingKt., CBE (19 September 1911 – 19 June 1993) was an English novelist, playwright, and poet who won a Nobel Prize in Literature, and is best known for his novel Lord of the Flies. He was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book in what became his sea trilogy, To the Ends of the Earth.

Golding was knighted by Elizabeth II in 1988. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

Jeff Gardiner

Crooked Cat says,

Jeff’s short story collection, ‘A Glimpse of the Numinous’, contains slipstream, horror, humour and romance and has enjoyed some excellent reviews. His non-fiction work, ‘The Law of Chaos’, explores the works of writer Michael Moorcock and to be published in all e-book formats. Many of his stories can be found in small press anthologies, magazines or websites.

When he isn’t writing, Jeff is also a parent, an English and Drama teacher, as well as a (very amateur) actor. He has just completed a novel set in Nigeria during the Biafran War and is currently working on further fiction for young adults.

Myopia, his contemporary YA novel about a bullied school boy was released in December 2012. His latest novel, Igboland, was out in February 2014.

The Link

Jeff says, “Like me, William Golding was an English teacher. His first novel, ‘Lord of the Flies’ was finally published after many rejections (21) and when he was in his forties. That same novel accurately describes many of my less effective lessons. He also had an interest in theatre and acting; I also teach Drama and have performed a number of roles on stage. But only one of us has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I’ll leave you to work out who….”

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I remember three books I’ve read about bullying in the past. In all three, the victims were boys.

In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Piggy is an obvious victim. He’s obese, he wears thick glasses and he says all the wrong things. He remains that way to the bitter end.

Marcus, in Nick Hornby’s About a Boy, is a bit strange. I loved this book but was disappointed in the end when Marcus stopped being strange with no transition from one state to the other.

In Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult does a great job of portraying Peter, the boy who has taken as much as he can and gets his revenge by going on a shooting spree. (I’m not giving anything away because this happens right at the beginning.) When it comes to Josie, the plot becomes unbelievable, in my view, but that’s another topic.

Jeff Gardiner‘s Myopia, which I read recently, has a much more believable plot. It’s aimed at young adults, and so I had to get used to the style, but it works very well and definitely held my interest.

And yet I was disappointed when I finished it. Jerry, the victim, seemed too normal. The bullying eventually turned him into a hero. It all seemed too easy.

Then my vision cleared as I realised what my problem was. This story isn’t my story. It’s very different. But that doesn’t make it any less valid. In fact, it’s probably more typical than mine. And all stories about bullying serve a useful purpose in helping readers to understand what bullying does.

Well done, Jeff, for tackling this difficult topic in such a sensitive way.

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Writing the above list made me realise that I’ve never read a book about a girl who is bullied. Have you? Can you recommend one?