Christian College Geelong Senior Library: Lovers of literature

Author Spotlight

Shaun Tan

FOLLOWING his recent Oscar success Australian illustrator and author Shaun Tan has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden – the largest children’s literature award.

The award, which amounts to 5 million krona ($764,6000), was announced in Stockholm tonight.

Melbourne-based Tan has illustrated more than 20 books, including The Rabbits (1998), The Lost Thing (2000), The Red Tree (2001), The Arrival (2006) and Tales from Outer Suburbia (2008).

His award citation read: “Shaun Tan has reinvented the picture book by creating visually spectacular pictorial narratives with a constant human presence.”

In February Tan won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for his 15-minute film The Lost Thing.

Herad Sun

The jury’s citation reads:

Shaun Tan is a masterly visual storyteller, painting the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books. His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible. Memories of childhood and adolescence are fixed reference points, but the pictorial narrative is universal and touches everyone, regardless of age.

Behind a wealth of minutely detailed pictures, where civilization is criticized and history depicted through symbolism, there is a palpable warmth. People are always present, and Shaun Tan portrays both our searching and our alienation. He combines brilliant, magical narrative skill with deep humanism.

Watch this short interview with Shaun Tan talking about his work.


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