Visit by Author Andy Mulligan
Southend High School for Girls was lucky enough to be visited by the world famous writer and author of books for young people, Andy Mulligan. Andy is probably best known for having written the book ‘Trash’, now made into a Hollywood Film and directed by the world renowned Stephen Daldry.
The thing which sets Andy Mulligan apart from his contemporaries is that his books are frequently based upon his own experiences of working with and teaching young people in far off places such as Vietnam, Brazil, the Philippines and India. He is also not afraid to tackle adult themes such as poverty and corruption.
‘Trash’ is the story of Raphael a dumpsite boy who spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash in order to eke out a meagre living. Andy said that in the writing of ‘Trash’ he was heavily influenced by John Boyne’s book ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. He also revealed that ‘Trash’ was inspired by a school trip to a dumpsite in Manilla with a group of eleven year olds to "see how the poor lived" when he was teaching in the Philippines. Probably the most amazing thing is that the book was written quickly in ten days straight in ten hour bursts.
Andy spent all day at SHSG and in addition to giving a really interesting and inspirational talk about his experiences and signing copies of his books, he worked with groups of students in order to encourage their creative tendencies. As Andy himself said, "Writing is not like brain surgery. You can start straight away and all you need is a piece of paper and a pen." In no time at all, all of the girls had begun their own novels and who knows, one day in the not too distant future, one of them may be as famous and successful as Andy.