Neil Gaiman made an appearance at GMU’s Center for the Arts on last night (September, 28th). He was there as a part of the DMV’s Fall for the Book Festival, which originated in 1999. It was initially organized by the University and the City of Fairfax.
Gaiman was awarded “The Mason Award.” According to the Festival’s website the award is “to recognize authors who have made extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide reading public.” The 2011 recipient was Stephen King.
Now I do not know about my lovely readers, but until my friend asked me if I wanted to go hear Gaiman speak, I had never heard of him. As for the crowd that attended (an estimated 1800 people!), they certainly did not share my lack of knowledge.
It did not take me long to learn why this guy seems to be so popular. The moment he walked on stage, I saw his shaggy hair, and I could just tell he was quirky. Gaiman opened his mouth and I could not stop listening.
He started with reading from his novel that he had just sent off to the publisher at 3:30AM. It is called The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I am now very excited to read. Like Gaiman, his writing is this fresh mix of dark, childish, comedic, and awkward. Hopefully, because he also narrates many of the audio versions of his books, those come out that way as well.
What amazes me most about Neil Gaiman is how truly he epitomizes this award. He has brought literature into so many forms other than just novels and children’s books. Several of Gaiman’s books—probably the best known being Coraline—have been brought to film. He has written several episodes of the popular tv show Dr. Who. Gaiman is also the author of numerous comics and two plays.
If this is your first time hearing of Neil Gaiman I really recommend looking him up. As was probably obvious, I have not read any of his books, but I am sure they are well worth the read.
Fall for the Book: http://fallforthebook.org/?page_id=979/
Neil Gaiman: http://www.neilgaiman.com/