Candy Gourlay

Connect with Candy

Release date: 28th September 2020
Interviewed by: Bella

Candy Gourlay was born in the Philippines, grew up under a dictatorship and met her husband during a revolution. Growing up, she wondered why books only featured pink-skinned children who lived in worlds that didn’t resemble her tropical home in Manila. It took her years to learn that Filipino stories, too, belong in the pages of books.

Her latest book is a comic biography (with illustrator Tom Knight) of the explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who happens to be credited with “discovering” the Philippines. Her novel Bone Talk was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Prize in 2019 – it is set in the moment when headhunting tribes in the Philippines come face to face with American invaders. Her picture book, Is It a Mermaid?, lushly illustrated by Francesca Chessa, was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Her novels have also been listed for the Waterstones, Blue Peter and Guardian Children’s Book Prize. She lives in London with her family, where she wages war on the snails in her garden.

On this podcast, Candy mentions the following books: The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan; The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop, illustrated by Kurt Wiese; Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi; the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen; Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen; Holes by Louis Sachar; Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce; Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech; Bud not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis; and Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean.

A Few of Candy's Books

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