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Image provided by Amelia Nezil

Amelia Nezil

Affiliation with UVic English: Alumni, B.A. Hons 2012

Special Book: Watership Down, Richard Adams

When did you first read this book:

When my sister and I were very young, my dad would read to us before bed each night. Watership Down was one of the first novel-length books that we read together. I remember feeling so excited that one book could contain so much story (and what a story!). Rereading it as an adult, I appreciate it in a completely different way — and appreciate my dad for reading it to us. It’s really a very dark and complex book, but I’m glad he thought we could handle it.

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?

“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”

What does the sentence mean to you?

I love the mythology of Watership Down. The novel is filled with creation myths, ancient hero stories and morality tales (rabbit morality, not to be mistaken for human morality). Adams immerses you in an animal world with its own languages, complex social codes and oral histories.