Presenter of the National Book Awards

The Book That Changed My Life

Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd Alexander has won The National Book Award for Children's Books twice: in 1971 for The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian and in 1982 for Westmark. He has also been honored as a Finalist five other times.

Books that changed my life? Every book that I've loved has changed my life in one way or another and keeps on changing it. So I'll have to limit myself to a small sampling. I must certainly thank Shakespeare, Les Miserables, War and Peace, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the poetry of Paul Eluard.

Singling out one particular work that influenced my own writing-so many come crowding into mind. Even so, for the moment I'll name David Copperfield. As a child, my odd assortment of relatives, boisterous, bickering, exuberant drifters along the margins of things made no sense to me. Until Dickens showed me they were, in effect, Dickensian; and, as I came to understand, ultimately heroic, all of them. As it influenced my view of the world, inevitably it influenced my writing about it.

Lloyd Alexander