Sunday 25 May 2008

interview/article with Shaun Tan in the Australian.
Suburban dreaming -May 24, 2008

THERE is so much twittering and cheeping at the other end of the phone line, I assume Shaun Tan is talking near an open window or in his garden in suburban Melbourne. In fact, the insistent bird calls are coming from inside Tan's house, where the writer-illustrator's Brazilian parrot, Diego, and white budgie, Snowball, have the run of the place. They're free to fly about, and retire intermittently to their playground, an assembly of mirrors and bells on top of a wardrobe.
The Arrival, an international bestseller and literary prize magnet, was a graphic novel that did not contain a single word.
It caused a stir when it won book of the year -- becoming the first graphic novel to do so -- in last year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards. It provoked consternation when Tan was asked to give a reading at the Sydney Writers Festival. Tan notes that France has taken to his entirely visual narrative with far less ambivalence: TheArrival has sold more than 40,000 copies there and hasn't been narrowly defined as a children's book.
Among the slew of awards and accolades it attracted, The Arrival was named 2007 picture book of the year by the Children's Book Council of Australia, and one of 2007's top 10 illustrated children's books by The New York Times. Tan was also named best artist at last year's World Fantasy Awards in New York.

(link thanks to mick Evans)


Blogger Matthew Adams said...

He is coming to brisbane really soon, appearing like the virgin mother at pulp fiction, and I am not sure where else and I can't remember the date... I know it's a tuesday and I am hoping it's tommorrow since I have the day off

I should be a news presenter... "And sometime today, somewhere, something happened, I think".

I only just read (looked at?) 'the arrival' for the first time a few weeks ago, and I think it would be fair to say that I would like to go over to his house and break all his pencils and brushes so I no longer have to compare my lack of ability (and self motivation) to his rather excellent work. Oh, and burn all his books...

...except that would be a real shame since none of my work would ever really be able to replace his, and the world would miss out on something worthwhile.

25 May 2008 at 22:24:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

He was asked to do a READING?
What did he do? Mime it?

26 May 2008 at 00:41:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun is appearing at Pulp Fiction on 3 June at lunchtime, I think 12.30ish.


26 May 2008 at 18:45:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Arrival arrived in Indonesia only a couple of weeks ago. I could finally devour that amazing book! It's been too long ago that a book could make me shiver from excitement every time I turn a new page.

Shaun Tan should have his hands insured.

27 May 2008 at 06:38:00 GMT-5  

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