Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 93–102 | Cite as

An interview with John Christopher

  • John Gough


John Christopher is a well known, prize-winning writer. His adult novelThe Death of Grass was runner-up for the International Fantasy Award when Tolkien'sThe Lord of the Rings won first prize. Similarly his children'sTripods trilogy,The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, andThe Pool of Fire, were all runners-up to the Guardian Award, whileThe Guardians won the Guardian award for 1971. HisSword trilogy, “The Prince in Waiting,” “Beyond the Burning Lands,” and “The Sword of the Spirits,” has been reissued by Puffin in a single volume. Some critics, such as John Rowe Townsend (inWritten for Children), have accused John Christopher of an underlying pessimism, or of male chauvinism. Christopher has not replied to these criticisms. He prefers to let his books speak for themselves. Unlike other writers who keep a high public profile, he has not spoken at conferences on children's literature or published essays which present or defend his point of view.

Early in 1983 I wrote to John Christopher. What began as a simple fan letter developed into a series of questions, which he was kind enough to reply to at length: from this correspondence, with John Christopher's agreement, I have compiled the “interview” which follows.


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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Gough
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea

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