BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Arts
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Anne Fine: A book for all ages
Anne Fine books
Fine's books have won many literary awards
Anne Fine's literary career was so nearly cut short after her first work was rejected by a publisher.

Ms Fine stuck the book, Summer House Loon, under her bed having taken the rejection badly.

But perseverance eventually won through and after coming runner-up in a newspaper writing competition she found a publisher.

She has the rare talent of being able to write for children of different ages and adults alike.

Mrs Doubtfire
Robin Williams dressed up for the adaptation of Madame Doubtfire
Before becoming a writer Ms Fine had a varied professional life from jail worker to girls' school teacher.

She was also an Oxfam worker.

Motherhood set her on the road to writing after she gave up full-time work to start a family.

Summer House Loon was written to cheer herself up while she looked after her daughter in a freezing cold flat.

An enthusiastic reader as a child, Ms Fine cites the Just William stories and the Jennings books as favourites.

With more than 40 books to her credit, Ms Fine was getting children reading long before J K Rowling invented Harry Potter.

Tales such as the Flour Babies and Goggle Eyes have been read by new generations of youngsters since their release.


Madame Doubtfire was transformed into the Hollywood smash Mrs Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams as the father in drag.

Ms Fine did not have any involvement in the adaptation and in interviews she has spoken disapprovingly of the film's sentimentality.

As well as touching the hearts and minds of children, Ms Fine has also shone for literary judges.

In 1990 and 1993 she won the Publishing News Children's Author of the Year Award and has twice won the Carnegie Medal for children's literature.

She has picked up nearly all the major prizes for children's fiction.

Her work has been translated in 25 languages.

See also:

10 May 99 | Entertainment
Blake named children's laureate
Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Arts stories