YA author Meg Rosoff has won the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children and young adult literature. The world’s largest prize for the genre will award Rosoff with five million kroner — the equivalent of almost $767,000.
The award is named after Swedish “Pippi Longstocking” writer Astrid Lindgren. The award is given yearly to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and promoters of reading with a significant body of work in children’s literature or who have made outstanding contributions to the field.
In a statement, the jury spoke highly of Rosoff’s work: “Meg Rosoff’s young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect. In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre world. Her brave and humorous stories are one-of-a-kind. She leaves no reader unmoved.”
Rosoff told The Guardian, “When I saw I had a phone call from Sweden, I wish I could say that I immediately thought it was the prize, but I actually immediately thought it was telemarketers. […] There have been so many times that I may have fantasized about winning whatever award, but I never imagined I would win this one.”
Though Rosoff is appreciative of the award and recognition, she emphasized that the “goal of writing is to write, not to pay attention to accolades.” “But on the other hand, it does make a difference,” she quickly added.
Rosoff has written seven novels, and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Her novels include “Just In Case,” a novel about a young man who begins to anticipate danger everywhere after his brother’s near-death experience and “What I Was” a novel about friendship set on the coast of East Angola. Her 2004 dystopian YA novel “How I Live Now” was adapted into a film starring Saoirse Ronan in 2013.
The acclaimed author is adding the Memorial Award to an already-full cabinet of accolades. She has won Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Carnegie Medal and the German Youth Literature Prize, Germany’s only state-funded literary prize. Rosoff’s most recent novel, “Picture Me Gone,” was shortlisted for a National Book Award in 2013. She is also a fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Literature.
Rosoff will receive the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at an official ceremony on May 30.
[via The BBC]