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M.A. Griffin studied English Literature at Manchester University. His first novel, The Poison Boy, was written under the name Fletcher Moss and won the 2012 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. He lives in Manchester.
April 2016 Debut of the Month Amidst panic on the streets of Dark Manchester and an atmosphere of political and social unrest, Preston is desperate to find his friend Alice. While searching for her, Preston unearths more than he’d bargained for when he discovers a secret scientific institute with a sinister young offenders prison in its cavernous, steam punk-esque depths. Inside, the kids are fighting and fast becoming feral due to lack of food, and one of them, the daughter of a formerly prominent and now deceased politician, needs serious medical attention. Alongside this mounting urgency, Preston and a well-intentioned warden have a chance to expose this horrific government scheme at the New Conservative party conference that’s taking place in Dark Manchester that night. But time is running out… Set in an entirely imaginable future world, this is a tense and tautly written dystopian sci-fi page-turner. The in-the-moment action feels like watching a thriller through the eyes of the hero, and the theme of young people fighting corrupt politicians is explored with style and poise. ~ Joanne Owen
Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew's Storycraft: How to teach narrative writing is an inspiring and practical resource to support secondary school teachers in developing their students' creative writing. This book is not a style manual. Authors Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew think there are plenty of those about. Instead, it picks apart the craft of narrative writing and equips teachers with activities designed to help their students overcome the difficulties they experience when tasked with creating something from nothing. Written by two fiction writers and English teachers with over forty years' combined experience in education, Storycraft packs in expert guidance relating to idea generation and the nature of story and provides off-the-peg writing prompts that teachers can immediately adopt and adapt in the classroom. The book breaks down the simple components that must be in place for a narrative to work the crafting of character, setting, shape and structure and shares fifty-one stimulating activities that will get students writing narratives regularly, more creatively and with greater confidence. Martin and Jon also include helpful advice in a chapter dedicated to the process of editing in which they provide activities designed to help students diagnose and improve misfiring narratives, and they close the book with invaluable tips for GCSE exam preparation written directly for students and with an impending creative writing exam in mind. Suitable for English teachers of students aged eleven to eighteen.
Throughout American history there has been an oddly close relationship between the seductive appeals of narrative fiction and those of political rhetoric and advocacy. The aim of Stories of Nation: Fictions, Politics, and the American Experience is to explore what political narratives and the cultural poetics behind them reveal about the way our personal and intimate lives are deeply connected with the public arena and the political process. The first section of the book, The Politics of Fictions, contains essays focused on works of fiction consciously dramatizing the political realm. The second group of contributions, The Fictions of Politics, explores structures and motifs from the narrative arts in discourses of American political life, and the interactions of public institutions and policy with forms of fictional representation, from novels to popular music and TV drama. The essays presented here broaden the conversation in American literary studies about what constitutes the political in literature and culture by reintroducing the dimension of institutional or representative politics. Likewise, Stories of Nation aims to repair the lines of communication between the idea that all fiction is political, and the view that political speech is a subgenre of literature all the more in need of examination in a highly polarized society. The range of perspectives in Stories of Nation will engage students of literature, popular culture, and politics alike.
This book discusses how Northern writers came to grips with the mixed legacy of the Civil War.The memory of the American Civil War took many forms over the decades after the conflict ended: personal, social, religious, and political. It was also remembered and commemorated by poets and fiction writers who understood that the war had bequeathed both historical and symbolic meanings to American culture. Although the defeated Confederacy became best known for producing a literature of nostalgia and an ideological defensiveness intended to protect the South's own version of history, authors loyal to the Union also confronted the question of what the memory of the war signified, and how to shape the literary response to that individual and collective experience.In Ashes of the Mind , Martin Griffin examines the work of five Northerners - three poets and two fiction writers - who over a period of four decades tried to understand and articulate the landscape of memory in postwar America, and in particular in that part of the nation that could, with most justification, claim the victory of its beliefs and values. The book begins with an examination of the rhetorical grandeur of James Russell Lowell's Harvard Commemoration Ode , ranges across Herman Melville's ironic war poetry, Henry James' novel of North-South reconciliation, The Bostonians , and Ambrose Bierce's short stories, and ends with the bitter meditation on race and nation presented by Paul Laurence Dunbar's elegy Robert Gould Shaw. Together these texts reveal how a group of representative Northern writers were haunted in different ways by the memory of the conflict and its fraught legacy.Griffin traces a concern with individual and community loss, ambivalence toward victory, and a changing politics of commemoration in the writings of Lowell, Melville, James, Bierce, and Dunbar. What links these very different authors is a Northern memory of the war that became more complex and more compromised as the century went on, often replacing a sense of justification and achievement with a perception of irony and failed promise.