THANKS HER OLD LIBRARY
Swansea's Stevie Davies used to love going to the library
as a little girl - now she visits as one of the country's
top novelists to say thank you. The director of Swansea
University's creative writing programme has twice been nominated
for arguably literature's top accolade, the Orange prize,
but she has not forgotten the role libraries played in her
Despite spending a big part of her life
abroad, the author of books such as The Element of Water
and Kith and Kin fondly remembers a childhood growing up
in Swansea and trips to Oystermouth library.
"As a little girl I used to come here
with my nana and auntie and I would sit cross-legged browsing
for an hour at a time," she said.
"My generation of authors were really
the children of the public libraries, since, owning few
books of our own - in my house we only had the Encyclopaedia
Britannica - the libraries opened up the world to us.
"I remember such a lovely atmosphere
at Oystermouth library, it was very warm and very welcoming."
Returning to the library this week to give
a talk on her experiences in writing, Stevie said how she
is trying to raise the profile of libraries and highlight
their importance to the communities they serve.