Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
|New from||Used from|
For an author--at least, for an author like me--the single most important factor when writing a book is the protagonist’s voice. Who is she, what does she sound like, is she strong or weak? Headstrong or passive? If an author doesn’t have a clear vision in her head, writing a novel centering around this person is going to be very, very difficult.
Fortunately for me, I had a clear vision; so clear I could actually see it and read it myself. I was inspired to write Alice I Have Been after unexpectedly viewing a photographic exhibit called "Dreaming in Pictures: The Photography of Lewis Carroll." Among the many photographs there, all taken by the man who wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, one stood out to me. It was of a young girl clad only in rags, but with an expression on her face that stopped me in my tracks. She was so adult, so frank, so worldly, as she gazed at the man behind the camera.
She was 7-year-old Alice Liddell, the daughter of Dean Henry Liddell of Christ Church, Oxford. It was to her that Lewis Carroll--or Charles Dodgson, as she knew him--told the story of a little girl who tumbled down a rabbit hole. She was the one who begged him to write it down.
I wondered what happened to her after she grew up; I wondered what happened between the two of them to result in such a startling photograph.
I wondered so much that I decided to write about it, write her story in her own "words"--although of course, with historical fiction, I got to make those words up. But she was my protagonist, and immediately the most important factor in writing this novel was known to me. For the girl in the photograph, and the girl in the classic books, were one and the same; they were my Alice, and I knew her voice, I knew who she was because of them. The wise yet wary face in the photograph, the unflappable voice of the girl in the books--all I had to do was capture it on the page.
My task, then, was to show that voice, that personality, maturing naturally through the years as she continued to try to leave Wonderland behind. But the difficult work was done for me, I truly believe, all because of the collaboration between two remarkable people--Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll. What happened between the two of them 150 years ago continues to fascinate and inspire. It gave the world Wonderland, after all--And it gave me my heroine. Sometimes all you have to do is open your eyes and look around you for inspiration; look at a photograph, read a book. I’m so very glad that I did.--Melanie Benjamin
Click on thumbnails for larger images
|"Alice as a Beggar Girl."||"Alice Liddell, as a Young Woman"||"Alice Pleasance Liddell Hargreaves, 1932."|
This is kind of a strange book. But a good read none the less. Was Lewis Carrol a pedophile - will we ever know?Published 8 days ago by Tamara
Well written historical tale. Unknown facts (or fiction) to think about. After all, Alice in Wonderland was one of my favorite book as a child, and I still own my mother's copy.Published 9 days ago by P. Bomar
I enjoyed this book. I liked the mixture of fact and fiction. I would have liked to see a copy of the photograph mentioned throughout the book as well as the two that were... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Mavis Hughes
Starts slow and I quickly questioned my choice to read it. It sucked me in and I enjoyed the story!Published 13 days ago by Kindle Customer
I like the fact that it felt like I was reading nonfiction even though it was fiction. I enjoyed the characterization of the relationship between Alice and The author of Alice in... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Eve Adams
Excellent book that brings Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Oxford scene to life. Got me interested in Carroll's hobby of photography and how he took photos of... Read morePublished 20 days ago by a reader
Very interesting story. I love the way Melanie Benjamin takes fact and makes it actual historical fiction. She is a most talented author...Published 20 days ago by Anabegold
I gave this book one star only because it is required to post a review. I hate the "blame the victim" mentality! I think I only paid $1. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Sandra Williams
I enjoyed reading about the historical aspect of the muse of Alice in Wonderland. I thought the author did a great job describing the era and the cultural differences of the time. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Patricia A Tait