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Sonya Hartnett wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

sonya hartnettThe winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2008 is announced as Australian author Sonya Hartnett.  

The jury's citation:
'Sonya Hartnett (Australia) is one of the major forces for renewal in modern young adult fiction. With psychological depth and a concealed yet palpable anger, she depicts the circumstances of young people without avoiding the darker sides of life. She does so with linguistic virtuosity and a brilliant narrative technique; her works are a source of strength.'

Now in its sixth year, the award will be presented, like previous years, by
HRH Crown Princess Victoria at the prize ceremony on 28 May 2008 at Skansen in Stockholm. Also attending will be the Swedish Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. The ceremony is open to the general public.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), established by the Swedish Government in 2002, is the world's largest children's and young people's literary award. The annual international prize of SEK 5 million (equivalent to approx. USD 790,000, 540,000 Euros) may be awarded to authors, illustrators, narrators and/or promoters of reading whose work reflects the spirit of Astrid Lindgren. The object of the award is to increase interest in children's and young people's literature, and to promote children's rights to culture on a global level. The award is administered by The Swedish Arts Council.

Sonya Hartnett made her publishing debut at the age of just 15, since when she has written 18 novels for children, young people and adults - although she herself generally prefers not to specify which age group she is writing for.

She is one of the authors currently charting a new course in both form and content for teen fiction, say the judges, bringing it closer to adult fiction and blurring the distinction. She also constantly pushes her own boundaries. No two works are alike. She skilfully adapts her beautiful, precise and illustrative language and her artful narrative technique to the requirements of each novel.

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