Who is Candy Gourlay?: Background information when reading Tall Story

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Tall Story

by Candy Gourlay

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay X
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 304 pages
    Feb 2012, 304 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Who is Candy Gourlay?

Print Review

Perhaps Candy Gourlay writes about dismantling the walls between people because she has chosen to scale them, push on them, and break them down for herself.

Candy tells a story about leaving Manila, where she spent much of her childhood, to live in England. Her two youngest brothers (she is one of six siblings) were just little guys at the time. When she returned for a visit a year later, one of those "little guys" opened the door and she didn't even recognize him and couldn't believe how much he had grown. She meant that he was so much taller and older. But she also meant, I believe, that she had grown during that year away. She had crossed a continent, had crossed cultures, had leapt over that wall.

Born in the city of Davao, in the Philippines, Candy was a writer from the beginning. According to her website, her first job was on a newsletter called Stork News that her little sister edited. She wrote about her dogs and her brothers. Later she became a journalist, covering such life-changing events as the People Power Revolution in the Philippines and the 40th anniversary of Kim II Sung's rule in North Korea. She also drew a weekly cartoon strip for a women's magazine, was a press photographer, and once worked on a coffee table book about witches - the Filipino local, grassroots kind that weave together faith and magic to offer to their communities.

By the time Candy decided that she wanted to write fiction, she was married and had three small children. So she took care of them while they were young and then went back to writing. First she returned to journalism, writing Motherless Nation, a documentary for BBC Radio about the emigration of Filipino women to other countries, so that they can earn money for their families, and the children they leave behind. Then, in another climbing-the-wall feat, she dove into writing fiction.

She also began a blog Notes from the Slush Pile, and joined The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, through which she won a contest and had a story published in an anthology. She then sold a short story and a book of animal stories. And finally Tall Story was bought and published.

Candy was determined, focused and passionate in her writing journey, and has chosen, again and again, to break down walls, bridge gaps and make connections, and it has paid off!

Article by Tamara Smith

This article was originally published in March 2011, and has been updated for the February 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Anatomy of a Miracle
    by Jonathan Miles

    A stunning novel that offers an exploration of faith, science and the meaning of life.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.