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Cambridge book wins World Fantasy Award

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Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn has been named the winner of the Professional Special Award at World Fantasy Con in San Antonio, Texas.

The award, described by The Guardian as “a prestigious fantasy prize”, is selected by a panel of judges consisting of fantasy authors and professionals including attendees at the event. First given in 1975 at the first World Fantasy Convention, the awards have been presented annually since.

Fantasy has been an important and much-loved part of children's literature for hundreds of years, yet relatively little has been written about it. Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn’s immense volume discusses the work of hundreds of key writers including Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll and J. K. Rowling and places them in a worldwide context. Their comprehensive examination uniquely and meticulously traces children’s fantasy from its origins in the sixteenth century to the present day applying a myriad of critical lenses.

Children's Fantasy Literature: an Introduction, was my colleague Mike Levy's idea”, said Farah Mendlesohn. “My contribution, after we had come up with two outlines for an edited book all of which collapsed because we wanted to write all the chapters, was to suggest that we did write all the chapters. That we could write it together was the result of close to 15 years of discussion and argument about children's fantasy. To have the World Fantasy Award (a juried award, given by stellar names in the field) recognise this labour of love will, I hope, stand as a testimony to the excellence of Mike Levy's scholarship and passion for both children's literature and fantasy”.

‘I am absolutely delighted about this award,’ said Linda Bree, Senior Executive Publisher and Head of Humanities at the Press, ‘It is wonderful to see our introduction recognised as an outstanding account of children’s fantasy literature both in academic and in world fantasy circles. We were lucky in our authors Mike Levy and Farah Mendlesohn, who made a great transatlantic writing team. Sadly Mike Levy died shortly after the book was published but this is a fine memorial to his work with Farah.’

Story by Alexandra de Brauw, November, 2017

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