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Among Others

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Among Others is the ninth novel published by Welsh-born author Jo Walton. It was written in 36 days in 2008, distributed between 29 February and 29 May. Walton describes the novel as semi-autobiographical, about the "coming-of-age experience of having books instead of people for friends and solace", which since the publication of the novel she has discovered to be more common among readers than she had expected. The author also shared the experience with her protagonist of being a Welsh student in an English boarding school and walking with a cane. As the main character is 15 in 1979, she would also have been born and grown up in the same area of Wales at roughly the same time. Walton also credits her own experiences growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother as giving her a "useful knowledge of evil" that informed the portrayal of her protagonist's mother in this novel. The author indicates the inspiration was the response she received to an article she posted in her online journal that year about the area of Wales in which she grew up and how she "thought [she] was living in a fantasy landscape, when actually [she] was living in a science fictional one". However, she notes that it is not actually autobiography, but rather "a mythologisation of part of my life. It's a fantasy novel, but it's drawing on autobiographical material. "

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