Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Stone Book

The daughter of a stone mason learns the old ways of her family when her father shows her symbols carved into stone in this classic work of magical realism. Based on the book by British author Alan Garner and shaped for the oral tradition by storyteller Jan Andrews, this is a coming of age story that examines our relationship with our history and our landscape.
I remember being read Alan Garner's stunning The Stone Book when I was probably too young to really understand it: which may be why the magic sank so deep. I remember that, like a lot of Garner's work, mystery underlay everything: the landscape, the people, the rhythms of the way they talked. I remember the opening of the book - the ploughman's lunch, and the dizzying, vertigo-inducing image of a child riding a weathercock at the tip of a steeple as though she was galloping through the sky, spinning above the countryside. And every time I see the tilted layers that you see in Ontario granite, or the weathered-out shelves of the schist cliffs I climbed near Aberdeen in Scotland, and nearly every time I see the pattern that receding waves leave on a beach, I think of the child looking at those ripples across the roof of a cavern, and understanding that once, somehow, the stone above her head had been an ocean floor.

So I'm particularly excited that Jan Andrews has adapted The Stone Book to the oral tradition, and is going to be telling it on October 3rd. And I can't help thinking that Jan, who is also a rock climber, will have just the feel for stone that the story asks for.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting about this! Tickets are $15/$12 for students and seniors, cash only at the door of the OYP Theatre School in the Shenkman Centre!