Who needs stories? Romesh Gunesekera talks to Michael Morpurgo

Filed under: Fiction

Romesh Gunesekera in conversation with Michael Morpurgo about our need for stories at the Cosmo Davenport-Hines Memorial Meeting, chaired by Nicolette Jones.

‘Facts alone are wanted in life’ – or so Mr Gradgrind believed. Michael Morpurgo, former Children’s Laureate and author of over 100 books, including Private Peaceful and War Horse (made into a film by Steven Spielberg), and Romesh Gunesekera, whose prize-winning novels include Reef and The Sandglass, beg to differ. In a discussion chaired by critic and writer Nicolette Jones, they talk about the influences that lured them into storytelling and ask, what are stories for? Where do they come from? Is it true that there are essentially only a dozen or so plots, which novelists endlessly re-jig – if so, does this matter? Do grown-ups need stories less, or more, than children? And is it a good thing for fictional characters to live happily ever after?

Recorded on on Tuesday 28 September 2010.

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Michael Morpurgo 2004