Graeme Base Profile

Graeme Base, author and illustrator of such works as Animalia, The Eleventh Hour and Uno's Garden is interviewed by Sherrill Nixon for "The Sydney Morning Herald".

In Animalia he successfully fought against his publisher's attempt to simplify the vultures' language on the V page (words such as "vociferous verbosity" and "vexatiously vocalising"). A decade later he waged a battle over Uno's Garden when the American marketing gurus wanted to declare it a "fun math book" on the cover, rather than leave it to the reader to discover the clever maths component of this book, primarily about the balance between civilisation and nature.

"Maybe I will be brave enough to say this: the problem is more evident in America, where there's the need, it seems to me, to spoonfeed," Base says. "You can't leave something slightly ambiguous or not show the solution ... they needed explanation for something where my inclination was to not explain but to ask the reader to work it out or to slowly realise there's something else going on here."

The author's latest work, Enigma, is now out from Penguin.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 5, 2008 1:21 PM.

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