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Michael Morpurgo in conversation with Maggie Fergusson and Anne Chisholm


Filed under: Fiction

Michael Morpurgo discusses his belief that children's writers should not be afraid to tackle pain and suffering as well as joy.

When the celebrated children’s writer Michael Morpurgo was born in 1943, his father, Tony Bridge, was away fighting in Iran. By the time the Second World War had ended, Tony’s wife, Kippe, had left him for another man, Jack Morpurgo. The absence of this father during his childhood, and his mother’s unhappiness in her second marriage, planted in Michael the preoccupation with war and its consequences that runs through many of his best-loved novels – from War Horse and Private Peaceful to Kensuke’s Kingdom and Shadow. In a conversation chaired by RSL Chair Anne Chisholm, the former Children’s Laureate talks to his biographer, RSL Director Maggie Fergusson, about his belief that children’s writers should not be afraid to tackle pain and suffering as well as joy, reflects on his longing for reconciliation, and explains why, despite everything, he remains an optimist.

This event was part of the Arts and Humanities Festival 2012 at King’s College London.


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Michael Morpurgo 2004