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Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Karen Cushman, Author of Alchemy and Meggy SwannDear Amazon Reader, Alchemy and Meggy Swann started, as all my books do, with a "what if?" What if there was a man who was a poisoner in Queen Elizabeth's court? Why did he do it? How did he feel about what he did? The idea of making the man an alchemist came later. What great cover, I thought, for a poisoner. So I immersed myself in the arcana of alchemy and the alchemist's search for transformation. And then, as in all my books, the focus changed to a girl--his daughter--how she felt and what she did. Transformation? Did Meggy seek to be transformed? How and why, I wondered. And so her wabbling was born. My husband once pointed out that The Ballad of Lucy Whipple told my own story of moving to California when I was ten, which came out in a book forty years later. The Loud Silence of Francine Green, and in a way, Matilda Bone, about a girl raised by a priest, and Rodzina, about a Polish girl from Chicago like me, are all my own stories. How then, I wondered recently, is Meggy's story my own? As I wondered, I took two more ibuprofen for my painful right knee. And there it was--after dealing over the past five years with my own pain and limited mobility, I gave these problems to poor Meggy. It seems I cannot write a book that does not in some way reflect me and my feelings and my life. And just as Meggy is transformed in ways she did not anticipate, so too did my story transform into hers. She took on a life of her own, and breathed on the page. I hope you enjoy meeting her and watching her grow in strength and awareness. Sincerely, Karen Cushman
(Photo © Crescent Studio, Vashon,WA)
The author has written a very engaging story with a wonderful main character. I do wish there was a series of Meggy's stories.Published 3 months ago by Judyrem
I adore Karen Cushman. So far, I've loved all her books. As a former teacher and grandmother, I am constantly buying books for grandchildren and offspring of friends. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Old Fashioned Reader
Traditional Newberry Medal formula... check. BUT... you find yourself adoring the plucky Meggie, especially as she shows her quick wit and teaches the intolerant lessons, and you... Read morePublished 20 months ago by B.
This book was very good. The author did a great job on research.I woulkd recomend it to anyone who likes historical fiction.Published 22 months ago by Molly Zdunczyk
First line: "Ye toads and vipers," the girl said, as her granny often had, `ye toads and vipers,' and she snuffled a great snuffle that echoed in the empty room. Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by Madigan McGillicuddy
I read 2 of her books previously when I was a youngster. It was nice that I had not outgrown her work. You get a peek into the world of Elizabethan times. Read morePublished on January 2, 2012 by simple sellers
I read this story about a year and a half ago as a vine reviewer, and I absolutely loved it. I wish I could find my copy of it; I'm going to have to order a new one, because, for... Read morePublished on December 22, 2011 by K. Draper
Sharp-tongued Meggy doesn't make friends easily. How can she, especially since most people don't even bother to look past her crippled legs? Read morePublished on July 14, 2011 by Liz W.