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The Winter Swan Paperback – February 11, 2018
About the Author
Sam Youd – who would go on, as John Christopher, to write The Death of Grass and The Tripods – was born in Lancashire in April 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm. His teenage love affair with science fiction was short-lived, and by his mid-twenties his ambition had turned to literary fiction. His first novel, The Winter Swan, came out in 1949; he brought out a total of ten non-genre titles, before turning his attention entirely to genre fiction. As a writer of genre novels his range was extensive. Alongside John Christopher the dystopian and young adult writer, there was William Godfrey the cricket novelist, Peter Graaf the thriller writer, Hilary Ford whose stories centred on female protagonists, Stanley Winchester who chronicled the carnal tendencies of the medical profession. But writing literary fiction meant a lot to him, and he turned his back on it reluctantly. The novels written under his own name are eclectic in their themes and outlooks: from a woman’s life told in reverse, to crises of faith amongst Jews and Catholics, to anti-heroes and deserters in World War II, to séances in post-war London. The last of the series, a bitter-sweet comedy of errors set in a large decaying country house, was published in 1963. He would continue to write, in a more popular vein, for several more decades.
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