The Lion, Unicorn and Me

October 5, 2009

In this beautifully evocative retelling of the story of the very first Christmas, the humble donkey is chosen out of all the other animals, including the kingly lion and the proud unicorn. As his journey unfolds, he is touched by the magic and mystery of the Nativity…

The award-winning, world-renowned novelist Jeanette Winterson has created a masterful and deftly crafted story that sparkles with originality, humour and warmth. Perfectly completed by Rosalind MacCurrach’s stunning illustrations with twinkling gold detail, this gorgeous Christmas book will be cherished by families for years to come.

I wrote this story in a single night when I was in the middle of my mental breakdown.

I had been in Holland delivering an important public lecture and I was exhausted with the effort of pretending to be OK and not letting anyone down.

I came home. My house was cold. I was too miserable to light a fire or cook. My cats came and sat on my knee and I wrote this story about a sad little donkey who gets a golden nose.

The Times published it as a Christmas story and then it was picked up as a picture book.

Eventually we made an opera out of it at Washington State Opera, directed by Francesco Zambello.