Alan Garner was born in his grandmother's front room in Congleton, Cheshire on 17th October 1934, and grew up in Alderley Edge, where his father's family have lived for more than three hundred years, being craftsmen in the area. During his childhood he suffered a number of major illnesses including pneumonia, and meningitis (during which he recalls overhearing the doctor pronounce his case as terminal). He has also described how he had his mouth washed out with carbolic soap by an infant teacher for speaking 'broad', and of having his left arm pinned across his chest because he was left-handed, resulting in him developing a stammer and a lisp. He was educated at Alderley Edge Primary School, Manchester Grammar School (where he excelled at sprinting, being rated in 1952 "the fastest schoolboy sprinter in Great Britain") and at Magdalen College, Oxford - the first of his family to be given this opportunity - leaving, however, before he completed his degree in classics.
Interview with Alan Garner
From Raymond H. Thompson's "Interviews with Authors of Modern Arthurian Literature". (April 12, 1989)
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