‘When Michael Morpurgo first suggested I should write a book about his life, I was excited but uncertain. If I wrote a conventional biography, what would be in it for all the young people who love his work so much? So we struck a deal. I’d write seven chapters about Michael’s life; he’d write seven stories in response. The result, we hope, is like one of those family board games – “to be enjoyed by children aged 9-99”. What you’ll find, both in my chapters and in Michael’s responses to them, is a story of light and shade, the light very bright, the shade sometimes painful. As Michael’s godmother said when I went to visit her, he’s had “a muddled life, but a marvellous one”. I hope you’ll find the great storyteller’s private story both moving and inspiring, and that you’ll email any questions that occur to you while you’re reading.’
Maggie Fergusson is Director of the Royal Society of Literature and Literary Editor of Intelligent Life. Her first book, George Mackay Brown: The Life, won the Saltire First Book Prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award, the Marsh Biography Award and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award.