Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Novelist’s first book for children wins the Booktrust Teenage Prize

Patrick Ness (left) has been awarded the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008 for his novel The Knife of Never Letting Go. Ness received a cheque for £2,500 and a trophy at the awards ceremony in London.
The novel, published by Walker, tells the story of a dystopian world where women have been banished and all the men have been infected with a virus that enables everyone to hear each others’ thoughts. Todd, the last boy remaining, and his friend Viola must escape the town, the mysterious men who are chasing them and the unremitting ‘Noise’.

Amanda Craig, Chair of Judges comments:

“In a strong year for Young Adult fiction, the judges of the Booktrust Teenage Prize selected six novels –coincidentally, three by men and three by women– that we all felt were outstanding for the scope of their imagination, their originality, their writing and their appeal. The Knife of Never Letting Go made the judges laugh, cry and debate its contents with passion; a striking mixture of thriller, science fiction and literary tour de force, it's influenced by writers as diverse as Laurence Sterne and Ursula le Guin, and should appeal to a wide readership.”

Viv Bird, Director of Booktrust comments:
“The Booktrust Teenage Prize attracts some great authors and this year was no exception. With an impressive shortlist of compelling and well-written novels, The Knife of Never Letting Go was original and completely gripping. I offer huge congratulations to the author and winner Patrick Ness for his remarkable book.”

The shortlisted books were:
Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson (Bodley Head)
The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan (Definitions)
Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz (Walker)
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (Orion)
Apache by Tanya Landman (Walker)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker)

Biography of Patrick Ness
Born in Virginia in the United States, Patrick Ness studied English Literature at the University of Southern California. His first story was published in Genre magazine in 1997 and in 1999 he moved to London where he still lives. Ness taught Creative Writing at Oxford University for three years. He has published two books for adults, The Crash of Hennington and the short story collection Topics About Which I Know Nothing. The Knife of Never Letting Go, his first book for young adults, was published in May 2008.

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