When we write 'acclaimed children's author Katherine Paterson' we mean really, really acclaimed. She has won two Newbery Medals, two National Book Awards, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award (recognizing contributions to children's literature) and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (also recognizing career-long contributions to children's literature). She was the second U.S. Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Her book The Day of the Pelican was the 2010 Vermont Reads pick by the Vermont Humanities Council. And so on.
These awards speak to the importance of her work, but are they interesting? Do they make a good story?
Okay, probably they were very interesting to Paterson (wouldn't we all be interested in winning a major international award?), but that question of what makes a truly good story - with heart and importance and, yes, entertainment value - has helped guide Katherine Paterson to a memoir-ish new book Stories of My Life. Instead of tracing a narrative from the beginning to the present day like an autobiography, or focusing on a narrative arc across a particular span of time like a memoir, Paterson has collected the stories of her life that she wanted to tell.
These life stories cover continents (Paterson was born in China) and generations, revealing some of the inspiration behind her books as well as stories that are simply good stories (like the last person General Lee kissed).They began as "kitchen sink stories", or the sort of stories her mother would have told her while they washed dishes at the kitchen sink, and then expanded as she realized she was writing a book for publication, not just for her family and friends.
You can read more about Katherine Paterson's latest collection in the articles below:
Scroll down to purchase her memoir.
To view the full list of books by Katherine Paterson, CLICK HERE.