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Synopsis

This is a strikingly inventive and unusual portrait of the most successful English writer for children (until J. K. Rowling), Enid Blyton, who entertained millions worldwide with her myriad adventure stories and mysteries but was herself both an adventure and a mystery. This book is for everyone who ever wondered what kind of woman Enid Blyton was. Enid Blyton gave us the Famous Five and Fatty's Find-Outers, the Enchanted Wood and the Wishing Chair. Some of us, encouraged by austere critics, have pretended no longer to want what Enid gave. We have pretended that we were not once upon a time enthralled by her stories. We have chosen to forget how much we loved the time we spent in their company. And we have feigned disdain. Now, Duncan McLaren offers lapsed devotees the possibility of honest redemption. If you're willing to acknowledge that Enid Blyton once mattered to you, you are warmly invited to accompany Duncan on an adventure that will investigate what made Enid Enid and endeavour to reach the source of her torrent of stories, those that came when she was 'letting her mind go free'. This unforgettable memoir will strike a chord with readers of Anne Frank's diary, Primo Levi's The Truce, Paul Steinberg's Speak You Also, Daniel Snowman's The Hitler Emigres and other Holocaust literature; for viewers of films like Europa, Europa (Agnieszka Holland) and Schindler's List; and readers of Frank McCourt-like survival stories.

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