The hero in Simon Tolkien’s new novel bears some resemblance to the author’s grandfather, J.R.R. Tolkien. Both were orphaned, won scholarships to the University of Oxford, fell in love before leaving Britain to fight in World War I and bore witness to the horrors of the Battle of the Somme.
“No Man’s Land” marks the first time Mr. Tolkien has acknowledged the creator of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” in his fiction. J.R.R. Tolkien’s presence has hovered over his grandson’s life, delaying his belief in himself as a writer but helping promote what he produced.
You can read the full story by Ellen Gamerman here.