I have just read the most riveting book, and it has made me very excited that the author is the keynote speaker at the South Island Children’s Librarians’ Conference this year. Margo Lanagan’s Touching earth lightly is totally absorbing, gutsy, honest, shocking and real. This is top-class writing, perfectly structured. Margo Lanagan is clearly someone who truly understands the complexity of the human race, particularly young people, and is not afraid to be completely honest about it. This novel is for older teenagers and adults, and not for the faint-hearted. Her latest collection of short stories Red Spikes won Book of the Year, Older Readers, in the 2007 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s book awards.
By all accounts, Lanagan is an excellent speaker, and also a very challenging and perceptive social and literary commentator. I recommend her work to anyone interested in young adult literature, or who works with young adults, and thoroughly look forward to her keynote address when she comes to Christchurch in March.