James of New Tammany College sends me a link to a post at Eos Books – The Next Chapter: RAY BRADBURY answers questions about FAREWELL SUMMER. The post is an interview with the famed author, who has just written a sequel to Dandelion Wine — 50 years later. Says Bradbury: "Farewell Summer is the second half of Dandelion Wine. When I submitted Dandelion Wine to my publishers back in 1957, they said that the book was too long and to break it in half and call the first half Dandelion Wine and the second half Farewell Summer, and that I could publish it in the years ahead. So fifty years went by during which I took the second half in and out of my files, making some few changes."
How has the author himself changed in the half-century interval?
"Q. With almost 50 years between the publication of Dandelion Wine and Farewell Summer, I’d like to know if the passage of half a century has changed your perception of childhood? Now that you’ve raised a family, watched your kids and your grandchildren growing up, can that perception possibly be the same?
A. I don’t think it’s changed in any way. The center of childhood is the discovery that you’re alive. It occurs at different ages with different people, but I discovered it to a fantastic degree when I was eleven years old. That revelation stayed with me for the rest of my life. I’m still completely aware of the gift of being alive and how wonderful it’s been for me to perceive life, hour by hour and day by day, so my feelings about living and being alive have not changed…."
New Tammany College, by the way, features a SF meme— how many of these books have you read? And liked?