22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Robert Paul Weston

Portrait Robert Paul Weston
© Machiko Weston

Robert Paul Weston was born in 1975 in Dover, Great Britain. He studied Sociology and Film at Queen’s University in Kingston and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Weston has worked in a number of unusual jobs – as a professional trampolinist, life guard, editor of a literary magazine and scriptwriter for cartoons.

His début as an author was the verse novel »Zorgamazoo« (2008), in which Katrina Katrell, an imaginative, adventurous girl, sets off with the Zorgle Mortimer on a quest to find the lost Zorgle city of Zorgamazoo. »Zorgamazoo« is a wilful, madcap story in a fantastic setting. Robert Paul Weston’s book is about the meaning of friendship and about finding out who you are, and the story is a carefully balanced mixture of critical social study, thrilling horror story and simple nonsense. The writing is innovative and shows a playfully inventive way with rhymes. »Zorgamazoo« can at best be positioned between the macabre nightmare worlds of Roald Dahl and the bizarre nonsense of Dr Seuss. The German translator Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn has applied his extraordinary abilities to finding solutions for the untranslatable word creations and rhymes of the original, putting his own mark on the book in a way that would be impossible for a translator of prose fiction. The book design is also remarkable: typography and font sizes change and combine with Victor Rivas´ impressive illustrations to form a coherent whole. Weston’s second book, »Dust City« (2010), is the story of Henry Whelp, who was placed in a reformatory called »The Home for Wayward Wolves« after his father was imprisoned for the murders of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Weston again succeeds in writing an unusual story in which , as in »Zorgamazoo«, friendship and the search for your own path are central themes. Weston skilfully intertwines these themes with imagery which recalls the darkness and magic of the Grimms’ fairy tales.

Robert Paul Weston has won several prizes for his literary work, which includes short stories as well as books, among them the California Young Reader Medal. He has lived in Canada and Japan, and currently lives with his wife in London.

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