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9780140013085

The Chrysalids

Wyndham, John

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9780140013085: The Chrysalids

In the community of Waknut it is believed mutants are the products of the Devil and must be stamped out. When David befriends a girl with a slight abnormality, he begins to understand the nature of fear and oppression. When he develops his own deviation, he must learn to conceal his secret.

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About the Author:

Joyce Stewart is from Barbados. She has taught English at a secondary level for 35 years; she currently teaches at the University of the West Indies. John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris, to use his full name, was born in a village, then part of Warwickshire, on July 10 1903, the son of a barrister. He lived first in Knowle and then in Edgbaston until his parents seperated when he was eight years old. After that he moved around the country with his mother and brother, the writer Vivian Benyon Harris. After a private school education, John tried his hand at several jobs including farming, the law, art and advertising. He began writing science fiction stories, influenced by the work of H G Wells, under the names John Benyon, John Benyon Harris and Wyndham Parkes. He eventually found a niche for his work in American magazines. In the mid 1930s he had his work published in British magazines, particularly in Tales of Wonder, the first British science fiction magazine published between 1937 and 1942, and in book form. During the Second World War he joined the army and worked as a censor. He also saw action with the Royal Signals in France. It took him some time to return to writing after the war but when he did he found great success with possibly his best known work, The Day of the Triffids (1951) which describes the invasion of Earth by strange plants. It was soon regarded a classic of the science fiction genre and others followed, The Kraken Wakes in 1953, The Chrysalids in 1955 and of course The Midwich Cuckoos in 1957. In 1963, at the age of 60, he married Grace Wilson but died six years later, on March 11 1969. The following day The New York Times said in an obituary: "John Wyndham did more than any other British writer since H G Wells to make science fiction popular in this country." Critics ascribed his success to the fact that his plots, however fantastic, were characterised by inventiveness, clarity and a profound sympathy for mankind in the nuclear age.

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David Harrower's plays include Knives in Hens, Kill the Old, Torture Their Young and Dark Earth (Traverse), Presence (Royal Court) The Chrysalids (NT Connections), Blackbird (Edinburgh International Festival; West End), A Slow Air (Tron Theatre, Glasgow). Adaptations include Buchner's Woyzeck (Edinburgh Lyceum), Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author (Young Vic), Chekhov's Ivanov and Horvath's Tales from the Vienna Woods (National Theatre), Schiller's Mary Stuart (National Theatre of Scotland), and Brecht's The Good Soul of Szechuan and Gogol's The Government Inspector (Young Vic).

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