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Interview 5 with Gail E. Haley

Haley, Gail E. (5)
Wright, Christina
Date of Interview: 
Haley, Gail E.; Campbell, Joseph, 1904-1987; Frazer, James George, 1854-1941; Albemarle Gallery; Folklore Society (Great Britain); Horniman Museum; Children’s literature; Folk literature; Illustrations; Kate Greenaway Medal; Linoleum block-printing; Publishers and publishing; Storytelling; Switzerland--Lötschental; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Gail Haley, an author and illustrator of children’s literature born in Charlotte, N.C., recalls her continuing career. In this fifth of sixteen interviews, Ms. Haley describes her work on Go Away, Stay Away (1977). She recounts viewing a short film featuring the traditions of the Lötschental Valley in Switzerland, which inspired her to research the custom of using masks to frighten away spirits and winter. Ms. Haley’s research, conducted at the Folklore Society and Horniman Museum, as well as her interest in the works of Joseph Campbell and James George Frazer, culminated in the creation of Go Away, Stay Away. She emphasizes that the themes of Go Away, Stay Away are the cleansing of the soul and the assumption of responsibility for inner demons. Throughout the interview, Ms. Haley discusses the importance of mythology and stories across cultures, universal similarities in cultural traditions, and a need for stories in modern times. Additionally, Ms. Haley describes the techniques used in her artwork which included linoleum cuts, the use of white ink, and experimentation with paints drying at different rates to create textures and colors. Ms. Haley was able to showcase these and other techniques at her first art exhibition in 1979. The exhibition, titled “Get into a book,” featured galleries of artwork from A Story, A Story (1970), The Post Office Cat (1976), Costumes for Plays and Playing (1977),Go Away, Stay Away (1977), and The Green Man (1979). Other themes in the interview include her memories of winning the Kate Greenaway Medal for The Post Office Cat (1976), the therapeutic nature of storytelling, changes in publishing, and publication of folklore stories.
England--London; circa 1970s - 2006
Interview Setting: 
Charlotte, N.C.
Interviews with Gail E. Haley
Interview Audio: