I strongly believe that an author’s life is reflected in their works. Well-known authors all over the world claim that important events in their lives are mentioned in the books they write. Tessa Duder said that her sailing experience inspired her to write about some children sailing together in her short story Too Close to the Wind, Patricia Grace wrote Beans based on the sports she played with her relatives when she was little, and The Lumber Room reflected the revenge Saki used to play on his aunts.
Tessa Duder, Patricia Grace, and Saki are examples of authors whose lives are reflected in their works. Let’s take Saki, for example. His mother died when he was very little. Saki was looked after by his grandmother and two strict aunts Charlotte and Augusta throughout his childhood. Living with them was a nightmare for Saki, as he often took revenge on them when he was little, just like Nicholas in The Lumber Room and Conradin in Sredni Vashtar. Saki also cared for wild animals.
His love for animals was shown in his famous short stories, The Lumber Room, Sredni Vashtar, The Open Window and Tobermory. Saki loathed people in mid-upper class in Britain in the 1900s. He thinks that all they care about are themselves. He didn’t write about them with kindness in The Easter Egg, and used a talking cat to embarrass them at a tea party in Tobermory. Saki’s health was very fragile when he was little. The doctor said neither him nor his siblings would survive into adulthood. His delicate health was reflected by the main characters in Sredni Vashtar and The Easter Egg.
From all those examples, it is clear that Saki’s life is reflected in his works. Patricia Grace is another author who writes about her life in her works. Her writing career started when she was 25 years old with children. She has a large family and she displayed her love for her relatives in Butterflies, It used to be Green Once, The Trolley and A Way of Talking. Patricia also honoured her Maori culture by using Maori words in three of her short stories that I’ve read. A Way of Talking is a clear example of Patricia’s feelings about racism in everyday life.
In the story, Jane was making disparaging comments about Maori people in front of Rose, the same thing that happened when Patricia Grace was at primary school because she was the only Maori girl there. Fun times in Patricia’s life were also shown between the lines of her writing. Meeting up with her cousins in the weekends, playing sports and doing physical things were mentioned in The Trolley; It used to be Green Once and especially in Beans. The events that took part in Patricia Grace’s stories are based on events that happened in her life. Most of Tessa Duder’s characters are created based on her personality.
When Christchurch Children’s Library interviewed her, Tessa said that she was good at sports and literacy when she was young, just like Moana in Moana’s Secret, Cindy in Cindy Becomes a Star and Michael in The Violin. Her personal tragedy was reflected in the Alex quartet. Both Tessa and the main character, Alex lost someone they love; which in Tessa’s case is her daughter Clare, and in Alex’s case her boyfriend Andy. Activities Tessa did when she was little were also reflected in her stories. When she was five years old she sailed on a sailboat from New Zealand to England with her family.
Sailboats were mentioned in her novella Too Close to the Wind and her short story, Person Overboard. Without knowing what sailing is and how to sail, it is not possible for Tessa Duder to write about sailing in her stories. As a swimmer who trained for six years in her teenage life and the first New Zealand woman to train seriously in the Dolphin-Butterfly stroke first introduced in the 1956 Olympics, Tessa Duder wrote about swimming in three of her short stories and the Alex quartet is about a girl who trained very hard in order to take part in the Olympic Games in Rome.
Tessa Duder’s life is clearly reflected in her works from the examples shown. An author’s life is reflected in their works. This statement is clearly proven with the British author who wrote 100 years ago and two New Zealand authors who still spend their time working on new book drafts. The storyline, the personality of the characters and the twist in the stories are often related to the events that happened in the author’s life. Through the eyes of a reader, I believe that their love for writing inspires authors to write. An author’s life is reflected in their works.
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