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The celebrated writer of young adult fiction, James Dawson, was received enthusiastically on Wednesday 22 April, when he visited the School to give two inspiring talks in the Old Chapel to pupils in the Fourth Form and Lower Fifth.
His presentation began with a summary of his most recently published book, Under My Skin, after which he read a sizeable extract to give pupils a flavour of the story. A discussion then ensued about role models used for the heroes of storylines and, in particular, the characterisation of (female) heroines. The heroine of Under My Skin, ordinarily a quiet and shy girl, finds herself confronted with a powerful force taking over her body and actions, in the form of an evil tattoo that speaks to her. She has to find the willpower and inner strength to overcome this terrifying situation, where she is no longer in control of herself.
The discussion was food for thought as pupils reflected upon the meaning of feminism and those aspects that struck a chord with their own views, to the point that many enthusiastically took part in a group shout when invited to do so by the author to express their support for the cause.
Near the end, pupils took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions: "What type of fan fiction do you write?" "How hard is it to switch between different characters as you write?" "What influenced you to be a feminist?" After the talk, a long line of pupils formed of those who wanted to take home a signed copy of this “Queen of Teen” writer’s latest book.
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