William Mayne Charles Sarland - Essay

Charles Sarland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

William Mayne is the great "problem" amongst modern children's writers. Everyone seems agreed that he is a writer of great subtlety and complexity, that he has an uncanny knack of seeing the world through the eyes of children, and that he is the most assured stylist of all modern children's authors. Yet he remains obstinately unread by children, and short of saying that he is a very sophisticated writer, which he is, no one has satisfactorily explained why. I do not intend, in this article, to question his critical standing…. I want in particular to look in some detail at the writing style, for it seems to me that valuable clues are to be found in it that go a long way to explaining precisely why many children find...

(The entire section is 1250 words.)