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.
Saturday, 25th October 2014
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,”
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
Michael Morpurgo’s powerful new novel Listen to the Moon was in part inspired by the Lusitania Medal that used to be in his family. These medals were made by the British (but copied from the original German design) in 1916 as a propaganda tool to highlight the sinking of RMS Lusitania by a German U-boat – an event considered a war crime in 1915.
We have a genuine 1916 medal, in its original box and with its original propaganda leaflet, and you could win it in our competition, together with a copy of Listen to the Moon and a poster. Good luck!
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.
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.
STORYSTOCK celebrates one of the world’s most successful writers with performance, workshops, tea parties and music all themed around his life and work.
Listen to the Moon Teachers’ Resources are now available