Sunday, 27 June 2010

Neil Gaiman wins Carnegie Medal

Following on from winning the Hugo award and Newbery Medal, Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book' has now won the Carnegie Medal, the UK's foremost award for children's literature.

Inspired by the sight of seeing his own two-year-old son riding his tricycle round gravestones, 'The Graveyard Book' is the story of a young boy brought up in the quiet and comfort of a cemetery, safe from the dangers of the outside world.

Gaiman once said that it was only because of his established reputation that publishers even considered a childrens' book opening with a serial killer at work. Only in a Gaiman story could the dead and undead be more human than the living. In the words of the Carnegie judges: "'The Graveyard Book ... manages to mix extreme creepiness with gentle humour. ... We felt the book was intriguing, it's very atmospheric and it has an extremely satisfying ending."

Gaiman said in his acceptance speech: "For my seventh birthday I was given a boxed set of the Narnia Books by CS Lewis. The last of them, The Last Battle, had the words 'Winner of the Carnegie Medal' on it. I did not know what the Carnegie Medal was, but I knew it was something important. It was the first literary award I had ever heard of. And if the Narnia books had won it, then it had to be the most important literary award there ever was."

Neil Gaiman's many works include 'Stardust', 'American Gods', 'Good Omens' (with Terry Pratchett), 'Coraline', 'Neverwhere', the 'Sandman' comics/graphic novels, and a Doctor Who episode for the next series.

The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. First awarded to Arthur Ransome for ‘Pigeon Post’, the winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.

Other notable winners have been Terry Pratchett for 'The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents', 'Skellig' by David Almond, Richard Adams for 'Watership Down', Philipa Pearce's 'Tom's Midnight Garden', Mary Norton and 'The Borrowers', and Elizabeth Goudge for 'The Little White Horse'.

Neil Gaiman is currently working with director Neil Jordan on the feature film adaptation of The Graveyard Book.

Click here to hear Neil Gaiman's acceptance speech

1 comment:

David Scholes said...

I'm a fan of Gaiman's from his days with Marvel comics. He is the best possible example of someone making the transition to science fiction novels.

After over 50 years of reading science fiction I decided it was time to return something to the genre. Here's the result:

I have just completed a new novella “Soldier of the Brell” which I will make available on the IPAD, Amazon’s Kindle, the Sony Reader and other E-readers.