Why do we need stories…?

Joan Aiken tells it like it is!

Joan Aiken


Joan Aiken writes about her favourite stories, and the magic of storytelling…in a new collection out now!

Stories are mysterious things; they have a life of their own. Animals don’t tell each other stories — so far as we know! Man is the only creature that has thought of telling stories, and, once a story has been written or told, it becomes independent of its creator and goes wandering off by itself. Think of Cinderella, or Beauty and the Beast —we don’t know where they came from, but they are known by people all over the world.

A story is very powerful. If I start to tell you a story, you are almost sure to stop and listen to it. It’s like hypnotism — or a small piece of magic. Indeed, stories often have been used for magic, by priests or medicine men. There used to be special stories…

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5 thoughts on “Why do we need stories…?

  1. I’ve been meaning to re-read The Stolen Lake, but I should perhaps re-read all the books in the series. It’s been a long time since I last had the pleasure. Do you have a favourite?

    1. I have a soft spot for The Stolen Lake, Daphne, as it was the first Dido story I read way back in the 80s. I could cheat and say my favourite is whichever one I’m reading at the moment — but I won’t! Dido and Pa is one I rate highly as a study of parental indifference, it’s always hard to be on the receiving end of such treatment. And I like The Witch of Clatteringshaws for its sheer zaniness, mixed in with regret that there’ll be no more Dido stories ever.

      You can see I’m hedging my bets here!

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