South Wales Evening Post - 26th June 2004



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 development.

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.


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