Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hunting the Unicorn Interview

Hey everyone! My article for the student newspaper is finally done. It went in the layout today and will be published soon. My second piece total to be published (but the first non-fiction piece). And I thought I'd post it here for you all (along with a link of course for the book I was conducting the interview about). It's only half of the interview that I conducted, but that's all I was able to fit into 500 words.

“Hunting the Unicorn: An Interview with Don King”
By Anna Mittower

I was very excited when the opportunity presented itself to interview Don King about his new book “Hunting the Unicorn”. As an English major he is one of my main professors, and therefore I have learned enough about him to be interested to learn more. On a Friday morning between classes, I managed to sit down with him and ask a few questions about his book.
Q: For those who don’t know, what is your book about?
A: It’s about a 20th century poet named Ruth Pitter. She was well known in her time ( 1930-1970). I found out about her because she was friends with CS Lewis.
Q: What lead you to write about Ruth Pitter?
A: I was working on my C.S. Lewis: The Poet book and came across a letter from Ruth Pitter asking if she could transcribe the last few pages of Killishandra (book three of Lewis’s Science Trilogy) into poetry. In my search for the transcriptions I came to know a lot about Ruth Pitter and decided to write a book about her.
Q: What was your favorite part of the book to write or research?
A: The first third of “Hunting the Unicorn” deals with Ruth Pitter’s relationship with C.S. Lewis. Also it deals with her early life. Her family rented a small cottage out in the middle of a forest and they’d spend their summers there. It was because of this that Ruth Pitter was influence to write mostly nature poems.
Q: And did anything unusual occur during the writing or research?
A: I mentioned before about the poetry transcription of Killishandra that Ruth Pitter did. I went hunting for it because I thought it would provide the key for what I was trying to prove in my other book about C.S. Lewis. I called the C.S. Lewis family and Ruth Pitter’s family and both didn’t have it or even know of its existence. I was really discouraged that I wasn’t able to find it and was about to give up when I decided to stop by the Bodlyin library at Oxford. I asked if they had any of Ruth Pitter’s letters and they said yes. I asked if I could see them and they said no because they weren’t catalogued yet. I came back and asked again to see them and they said that I could but they only had a sheet with descriptions of what they thought was in each box. I looked through the sheet and picked the three most likely candidates out of 36 boxes. It wasn’t in the first box, but in the second to last box that I found what I was looking for. I was really excited.
Q: How did you come up with the title “Hunting the Unicorn”?
A: It’s not a title of my own invention. Ruth Pitter gave several radio talks on BBC and one was titled “Hunting the Unicorn”. I thought that was really neat title so I used it.

You can buy "Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter" on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Unicorn-Critical-Biography-Pitter/dp/0873389476/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221538991&sr=8-1
Also, Don King will be holding a booksigning on October 3rd at 3:00 pm. It will be held in the Library of Montreat College (NC). If you can attend, that would be great for him! I know that I'll be there.

Until next time!

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