Below is a video of Ben Twiston-Davies discussing the sculptures he made for the 20th anniversay edtions of the Orion classics, specifically The Readerby Bernhard Schlink.
By the school house at Shancarrig stands a copper beech, its bark scarred with the names and dreams of the pupils who have grown up under its branches. Under Junior Assistant Mistress Maddy Ross's careful gaze the children play, but out of school Maddy's gaze lingers where it shouldn't. Maura Brennan, a bundle of fun from the rough end of town, plays with her pals: leap year baby Eddie Barton, the apple of his mother's eye, and Nessa Ryan, who little realises as she carves his name at the roots of the copper beech on the very last day of school that she'll get a lot more from one of her schoolmates than her first shy kiss.
Celebrating Orion's 20th Anniversary in chronological order by original publication date are:
1992 The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy The first novel published by Orion. A million copy seller from the world’s favourite storyteller. 1992 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser Narrative non-fiction from one of our leading historians. This ground-breaking title is still the definitive book on the subject. 1993 The Black Ice by Michael Connelly The first Michael Connelly title published by Orion, showcasing our ability to build quality commercial crime brands. 1994 Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon The original Horrid Henry book was the start of a massive multi-platform entertainment brand demonstrating the breadth of our Children’s list. 1995 Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder A publishing sensation which brought translated literary fiction to the mass market and formed the kernel of the W&N literary fiction list. 1997 Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger, this novel cemented Ian Rankin’s status as the gold standard of British crime. 1997 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink Translated fiction which sold a million copies and became an award-winning film release, bringing recent history into sharp and unforgettable focus. 2000 A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer The original Misery memoir, Dave Pelzer’s story was shocking and controversial and founded a genre. 2000 Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds Science fiction on the grandest and most commercial scale from Gollancz, redefining space opera for the new century. 2001 Tell No One by Harlan Coben
The event publication which made SUNDAY TIMES No.1 bestseller Harlan Coben a household name and cemented Orion’s ability to create commercial brands. 2003 Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore Winner of the Best History Book at the British Book Awards 2004, this narrative character-based history broke new ground. 2004 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon A massive million plus bestseller in the UK and one of the bestselling books of all time in Spain – making translated fiction truly accessible. 2004 Himalaya by Michael Palin Selling over half a million copies in hardback and staying at No.1 for 11 consecutive weeks, this is the book that proved Michael Palin was not only a beloved television and film personality, he was a formidable travel writer as well. 2004 Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver Selling over half a million copies at the height of the Harry Potter years and with massive rights sales internationally, this title is one of the stars of our impressive Children’s list. 2005 Labyrinth by Kate Mosse A huge SUNDAY TIMES No.1 bestseller, this engrossing ‘time-slip’ novel combines brilliant storytelling and strong characters with a puzzle that has obsessed men for centuries: the secret of the Grail. 2007 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday Winner of the PG Wodehouse Award, Torday is a unique and indefinable author whose debut won him a substantial, dedicated fan base. 2008 No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay A true must-read and a Richard and Judy favourite, this title announced the arrival of an exciting new thriller bestseller from Orion. 2009 Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris The first True Blood TV tie-in novel showing the diversity and commercial potential of the Gollancz list. 2010 Life by Keith Richards This once-in-a-generation memoir of a true rock legend was a formidable No. 1 SUNDAY TIMES bestseller. 2011 The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht Winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction, this debut novel has been almost universally praised as a triumph of modern literature and introduced a star of the future.
About the Author
Maeve Binchy (1940 - 2012) was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland.
Binchy, who was 72, has sold more than 40 million books to date, translated into 37 languages. She lived in Dalkey all her life and was married in 1977 to the children's writer Gordon Snell. Her last book carries the dedication: "To Gordon -- who makes life great every single day."
Maeve’s final book A Week in Winter published after her death in 2012 was the winner of the Popular Fiction Prize at the Irish Book Awards.
I was only a teenager when I discovered Maeve and I've always loved her books but the one that sticks out in my mind is Evening Class. It's told from the point of view of different characters - which is what I do in my own books. It's a wonderful way of getting into the characters' heads and also to move the plot along.