Michael Morpurgo’s books are enjoyed and celebrated by thousands of readers. Many of Michael’s stories are re-told in different ways, from stage performances and blockbuster films, to concerts with his wonderful words set to music. Michael supports many charities and always finds the time to meet his fans at special reading events.

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Children’s author unites generations with his war story

Children’s author unites generations with his war story

It is rather unusual for a children’s author to fill his books with war and violence, but for beloved writer Michael Morpurgo, conflict became the common thread in his creations.

He told CNN in an interview that aired on Thursday,

“I care about war because I’m a war child. I was born in ‘43 and grew up with the Second World War, the damage that had wrought on people and societies and families and buildings… and I’ve played in bomb sites. I grew up with all that world of war around me,”

His best-selling novel-turned-blockbuster and stage play War Horse, which is about the First World War, only became a phenomenon 25 years after the book was written in 1982.

“The National Theatre picked it up really because Tom Morris discovered my book. In fact, his mother said one day, ‘Tom, you should read this book. It’s quite good’. And luckily he listened to his mother, made the play,”

Morpurgo said.

The First World War is also the subject of his latest novel, Listen to the Moon, a powerful journey based on the sinking of the American civilian liner the Lusitania.

“There were 1,200 people drowned on the Lusitania in May 1915 after Germany boat put a torpedo in her side. She sank in 18 minutes; the Titanic took three hours. The loss of life was really terrible.”

The award-winning English writer explained that while he does just write for himself, his ultimate goal

“is to try to tell stories that have some kind of universality, that they touch the lives of older people and parents and children at the same time.”

Over five million people have now seen War Horse on stage worldwide.

“It’s been on in Germany for a year, in Berlin and London at the same time, about this war that happened 100 years ago. And to me, that is the most moving thing. If there’s any justification for writing any of my stories, it’s that, that we are listening to the story about reconciliation and these two capitals, where these people came together and did this appalling thing.”

Watch the interview online at www.amanpour.blogs.cnn.com


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Want to keep up to date with the latest Michael Morpurgo news?

Armistice Day with Michael Morpurgo in Ely

We mark Armistice Day and the centenary of the beginning of First World War with a special evening of readings in Ely Cathedral.

Who Will Sing the Anthem, Who Will Tell the Story?

Join acclaimed writer Michael Morpurgo as he discusses how his experiences of the devastating aftermath of the Second World War helped to inspire his writing.

Private Peaceful the Concert

Master-storyteller and bestselling author Michael Morpurgo will be joined by the outstanding English acappella trio Coope, Boyes & Simpson to perform Private Peaceful, a show based on his bestselling book, at Christ’s Hospital Theatre.

The Best Christmas Present in the World

This year’s Shrewsbury Bookfest Remembers programme includes a performance of The Best Christmas Present in the World written and performed by Michael Morpurgo with Virginia McKenna and the singing group, ‘Voices at the Door’, directed by Simon Reade.