Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miss Read

I enjoy Writer's Almanac. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to catch it on the radio and get to hear it in Garrison Keillor's own voice, but most times I just check the website, read the day's poem, and see which writers are featured.

I thought today I'd do my own since I don't expect to see one of my favorite writers featured.

Miss Read is the pen name of Dora Saint who was born this day in 1913. A teacher by profession who began writing several journals after World War II. She later worked for the BBC as a scriptwriter.

These novels of English rural life are set in the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green, and the first she wrote, "Village School", was published in 1955. She continued to write until 1996. In 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature. She lives in Berkshire.

I read and re-read Miss Read all the time. Of the two villages, I like Fairacre the best, perhaps because it is told in the first person voice of Miss Read the village schoolmistress. Several of the novels take place over the course of a year and the author obviously enjoys and is a keen observer of nature.

All would be described, I'm sure, as gentle reads. I don't think this diminishes their literary worth at all.

Happy Birthday Mrs. Saint and thank you for your hospitality.


YesterUkes said...

I've learned something. I listen to Writer's Almanac often but didn't know there was a web site.

And thank you for introducing me to a new author (new to me!) I'm unknitting 19 rows of a blanket at the moment. Maybe I should take a reading break!

minipurl said...

I just may have to try reading again. All knitting and no knowledge makes Jeannie a dull girl ;0

Mary said...

Happy Birthday, Miss Read! And thank you, Sonja, for introducing me to Miss Read.

Krawuggl said...

This was great to read and I am completely with you and the 'gentle' reads. You also made me curious about Thrush Green, because this books I think are translated in German, so I will have a look at the english amazons. Maybe one of the best ways to read a novel in it´s origin language, beneath Agatha Christie of course, which I love to read in english (especially when I know the plot already in German).
Oh, and it´s good to know that she is still alive, if she would have a blog, too, this must be wonderful to follow.