As you may remember, late last year I was privileged to receive an advance review copy of Shtum from the publishers, Orion. I cannot express my delight adequately. I have not stopped talking about this book, it will be a phenomenon (and deservedly so). Shtum defies explanation and is a must-read (see my review here). I can’t keep quiet about it!
So I’m thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for the utterly fabulous Shtum by Jem Lester, which was published on Thursday 7th April by Orion Books in hardback, e-book and audio download. Today I’m delighted to welcome Jem Lester to my blog, where he discusses his five favourite authors.
Jem Lester was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 – and though there, he denies personal responsibility. He was also the last journalist to interview the legendary Fred Zinnemann, before the director died. He denies responsibility for that too. He taught English and Media studies at secondary schools for nine years.
Jem has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic, and for them he accepts total responsibility. He lives in London with his partner and her two children.
On his inspiration for the book he says: “I think, initially, the idea for Shtum came from the realisation that my own non-verbal, autistic son was more forthright in expressing his wants and needs than I was. Of course, I wanted to dismantle the stereotype of the ‘gifted’ autistic child but at the same time I thought it imperative that the joy and humour of these wonderful, innocent children was recognised and celebrated.”