x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

A chink of light in a dark British writing career

Despite a reputation for depressing fiction, the British author Marcus Sedgwick’s new book is ‘happy’, writes Malavika Vettath.

Marcus Sedgwick. Courtesy Sharjah International Book Fair
Marcus Sedgwick. Courtesy Sharjah International Book Fair

His teenage fiction stories are filled with sinister happenings, crumbling graveyards and death. But the acclaimed British author Marcus Sedgwick said that he doesn’t write only dark, miserable stories and that his latest, She Is Not Invisible, is actually his “happy book”.

Sedgwick revealed that he’s often asked why his books are creepy and depressing, to which he replies: “Death as a subject interests me.”

He’s thrilled at being published in more than 20 languages. “It’s fascinating to see my book in editions I can’t even read such as Japanese.”

Sedgwick credited his love of books to his father. “My father made sure my brother and I got books as presents on birthdays, Christmas or any occasion.”

But what awakened the writer in him was working in a children’s bookshop in Cambridge. “That was the best thing that happened to me. I got to revisit my childhood. I then realised that not all books were written by old, dead people,” he said with a laugh, during a session at the Sharjah International Book Fair.