Alan Garner was born on October 17th, 1934. Alan Garner is a well known English writer who is popularly known for his children's fantasy novels and his famous retellings of traditional British folk tales. Alan Garner was born into a working-class family in Congleton, Cheshire. Garner studied at the Manchester Grammar School and then continued onto Oxford University in 1957. He then moved to the nearby village of Blackden.
His first novel The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, was published successfully in 1960. This book is a children's fantasy novel that is set on the Edge and it incorporated elements folklore from the local aread in its plot and characters. Garner then completed a sequel titled The Moon of Gomrath that was published in 1963. He left the third book of his trilogy he had originally envisioned and is in fact in the process of writing it. Instead of publishing the third book in his series he produced a string of further fantasy novels titled Elidor which was published in 1965, The Owl Service which was published in 1967 and Red Shift which was published in 1973.
The Owl Service- Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison's room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls-owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen around Alison, Roger, and the caretaker's son, Gwyn. As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations... a love story that has always ended in disaster.
Elidor- A mechanical street map, a deserted slum, a church in ruins, and a football. Four ordinary things lead the Watson children on an extraordinary adventure to a magical land called Elidor. In pursuit of four ancient treasures, the forces of evil have crossed over into our world, and it falls to the Watson children to find the treasures, seal the bridge between worlds, and guard the strayed unicorn Findhorn . . . even though their heroism may cost them everything.
Red Shift- When Alan Garner's first book, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, was published he was hailed by reviewers as a great new writer. The Weirdstone and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath are magic-fiction stories set around Alderley Edge in Cheshire, which is his home. The next book, Elidor is of the same genre, but here the setting is Manchester (where Alan Garner went to school), and the magic is seen only through the children's eyes. It was The Owl Service which undoubtedly brought Alan Garner to everyone's attention. It won two important literary prizes: The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, was made into a serial by Granada Television and has established itself as a classic. Set in Wales, its roots grow so deep into Welsh mythology that the characters are often inseparable from their ancient counterparts.
In Red Shift conventional time means even less, and physical place even more. Lives which appear to be lived in different historical periods are bound together by a power that is outside space and time.