Recently I read two books that speak directly to the power of story. They were set in different parts of the world, written at different times and driven by very different plot lines - but both brought me into the life and mind of another character so fully that I cried. I cried my heart out, an uncomfortable, messy cry.
Story is the only means we have of being able to come close to inhabiting somebody else's life, of being able to feel somebody else's feelings or see the world from a different vantage point. Both of these writers are master storytellers and I would urge everyone to read their work. It's often assumed that children's literature is full of gnomes and giggles and sweet furry things. Which is true of course, and thankfully so. There is a place and a profound need for sweet furry things and giggles, often in the darkest of times. But there is also a need for other kinds of stories, the ones that delve into the most challenging parts of being human, whether you're a child or not. Perhaps especially if you're a child.
There is a place and a need for all kinds of stories.
'The possibilities are endless because the stirring of the imagination never rests, and because we can never stop trying to make feeling felt.' - Eudora Welty.
Links to interviews with both writers: