Alan Garner was born in Congleton in Cheshire in October 1934. He was brought up on Alderley and now lives with his wife and family in a mediaeval timber-framed house near the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope, between Congleton and Alderley. He says in his published biography that, while his ancestors on his father’s side were skilled and steady people, his mother’s side were ‘gifted cranks’.
Alan Garner was educated at Alderley Edge Primary School, Manchester Grammar School, did two years National Service and then went to Magdalen College, Oxford. He left Oxford knowing that he had to be a writer and not a teacher as he had originally intended.
Cheshire and its mythology have had a profound effect on Garner’s writing. His interest in history and archaeology, and his own local discoveries, have been the seed of many ideas he has worked out in his books.
His first three books, The Wierdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath and Elidor have become children’s favourites. But it was his fourth book, ‘The Owl Service’ that undoubtedly brought Alan Garner to everyone’s attention. It won two important literary prizes – The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal – and was made into a serial by Granada Television. It has established itself as a classic and Alan Garner as a writer of great distinction.
In 1995 ‘The Stone Book’ was awarded the Phoenix Award by the Childrens Literature Association in the USA.