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Solveig and the Varangians: A Boy’s Own…

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Bracelet of Bones and Scramasax tell of two hair-raising journeys in which a Norwegian girl, Solveig, searching for her father, accompanies traders through Russia before joining a Viking army in Constantinople. Kevin Crossley-Holland will describe the long gestation, points of ignition and substantial research involved in writing these books, and consider how Solveig questions authority and faces up to dilemmas, why she comes to hold certain values most dear, and how she responds to the clash of belief systems (paganism, Christianity and Islam). He will suggest issues of identity and interaction drive the two books, describe his writing process, read a passage or two, and rehearse some of the pitfalls and pleasures of serious and imaginative engagement with the past.

Kevin Crossley-Holland is an acclaimed historical novelist for children, winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Well known poet, translator, and author of The Penguin Book of Norse Myths, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and President of the School Library Association.

This talk is part of the Children's Literature series.

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