Gates of Excellence

Gates of Excellence

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“Mrs. Paterson, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?”
“Why do you write for children?”
“Is your story true?”

To these questions and others, Katherine Paterson gives unexpected answers. Her search for truth, her hopes and terrors, her love of words, her feelings about her life and art-all are revealed in these reflections on her reading and writing.

Twice a winner of both the National Book Award for Children’s Books and the Newbery Medal—a unique distinction in itself—she tells of the experiences that grew into books; of her interest in the Japanese Bunraku theater; of the difficulties that surrounded the writing of her latest novel, Jacob Have I Loved. She tells of her unusual childhood and her family. Above all, she tells of her love of books and the writers who have influenced her: “A great novel is a kind of conversion experience. We come away from it changed…. The fake characters we read about will evaporate like the morning dew, but the real ones, the true ones will haunt us for the rest of our days.”

Here, with the same wit, imagination, and perceptiveness that characterize her fiction, Katherine Paterson tells what it means to be a reader and a writer, struggling to pass through the gates of excellence.

This book is out of print. If you would like to read this book, please visit your local library.

ISBN 0140362258