The Bandersnatch Trailer

Bandersnatch coverBandersnatch, Diana Pavlac Glyer’s new book about the Inklings writing group and its creative processes, arrives November 30.

C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other’s work-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent?

The paperback is available for preorder from Kent State University Press, Amazon and other sources.

Complemented with original illustrations by James Owen, Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford—and a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and dozens of other books written by the members of this literary group. You’ll learn what made these writers tick and more: inspired by their example, you’ll discover how collaboration can help your own creative process and lead to genius breakthroughs in whatever work you do.

Owen’s visuals feature in this promotional video —

Michael Ward, coeditor of C.S. Lewis at Poets’ Corner, recommends Bandersnatch.

No one knows more than Diana Pavlac Glyer about the internal workings of the Inklings. In Bandersnatch, she shows us how they inspired, encouraged, refined, and opposed one another in the course of producing some of the greatest literature of the last one hundred years. A brilliant and beautifully clear case study of iron sharpening iron.

Oxbridge 2008

Sierra of the Galaxy

Today we bundled Diana off to the airport. It was an emotional goodbye, especially for Sierra, because Diana is going to England for two weeks – an unimaginable length of time for a 6-year-old who’s probably spent a total of four nights apart from her mom in her entire life. Fortunately, Diana’s mother, Christel, will stay with us for a few weeks.

Diana is speaking at Oxbridge 2008. Every three years, the C. S. Lewis Foundation takes a group to spend a week at Oxford and a week at Cambridge hearing from Christian intellectuals about a variety of topics, viewed through the prism of C. S. Lewis’s writing.

Diana will be a plenary speaker and workshop leader. Her plenary address is titled, “C.S. Lewis and the Algebra of Friendship.” It explores Lewis’s adaptation of Charles Lamb’s idea that our ability to know people is multiplied by mutual friendships. One of her examples is:

When Charles Williams died, Lewis felt the loss of his friend very keenly. But when he writes about his loss, he emphasizes that he has not only lost Williams, but he has also lost the way that Williams brought forth different sides of his other friends. He laments, “Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see the particular way that Tolkien used to laugh at his jokes.” He continues, “Instead of having more of [Tolkien], even though I have him all to myself now that Williams is away, I have not more of Tolkien, I have less.”

Consistent with her theme, we’ve invested several weeks planning to manage all the logistics of household life while Diana’s away. I’ll next see Diana when she flies into Denver for the Worldcon; we’ll both be getting there on Friday.

[Photo by Stephen Dashiell.]