Opening Doors: Writing by Children of Ireland and Russia for The Pushkin Prizes 1991-1996
This book is a collection of short stories and poems by children who have written for the Pushkin Prize in Ireland and Russia. The work is significant in terms of the contemporary interest in children’s literature publishing in Ireland. Like other anthologies held in the Irish Special Collection at CICE, the book was published at a time of unprecedented indigenous publishing interest in Irish children’s literature. Furthermore, works in this collection were selected by Belfast-born children’s writer, Martin Waddell, who also writes under the pen name Catherine Sefton, further highlighting the contemporary climate of expanding interest in children’s books. Waddell has written a short introduction to the volume, and the foreword by The Duchess of Abercorn, who founded the Pushkin Prizes Trust, which ‘endeavours to unite children, their parents and educators, north and south, in the common bond of creativity’, in 1987 is of particular interest. The Preface begins by introducing the issue of ‘voice’, much considered in postcolonial literature, and gaining further complexity in terms of postcolonial children’s literature: ‘To discover that each of us has a "voice" is an exciting and enlivening experience!’ This volume offers a relatively rare opportunity to explore writing by children within this important period of children’s literature in the late-twentieth century. Despite the collection’s title, only two works in the collection are by children from Russia, and both are from two different schools in St. Petersburg. In Ireland, children’s writing from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is represented: there are eighteen works from the Republic and twenty-nine from Northern Ireland. The volume is interesting in that it is cross-cultural, though this aspect is limited, and also encompasses works by children from Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, who are educated within different school systems. One work, from a school in Derry, is written in the Irish language. The themes that the children write about in the collection range from school experiences, to experiences at home or from extra-curricular activities, of various places that are of significance to the children writing, writings about natural world or the weather, and other events.
Various authors, written by children. Selected by Martin Waddell. Edited by Ann McKay
Place of Publication:
Pushkin Prizes Trust
Date of Publication:
111p. : ill.
Ireland, Genre, Literature Written by Children, Pushkin Prize, Russia, Irish Language
Juvenile Literature Collection - CICE