The 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011 has been awarded to Patrick Ness for his novel, Monsters of Men.
Monsters of Men is the third and final instalment in Ness's "Chaos Walking" trilogy which compellingly charts the epic power struggles between the inhabitants of a world where all thoughts are audible; and the relationship which develops between Todd and Viola, his young main characters. The two previous books in the trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer were also shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, in 2009 and 2010 respectively, the first time this has been achieved by all books in a series.
Ferelith Hordon, chair of the 2011 judging panel comments:
"By any stretch of the imagination – and this is a book which profoundly stretches exactly that – Monsters of Menis an extraordinary achievement. Within its pages, Patrick Ness creates a complex other world, giving himself and the reader great scope to consider big questions about life, love and how we communicate, as well as the horrors of war, and the good and evil that mankind is capable of. It's also an enthralling read that is well nigh impossible to put down. Reviews on the CILIP Carnegie Medal shadowing site bear out our conviction that despite being part of a remarkable trilogy, this is a novel that both stands alone, and stands out".
Louis, a young reviewer from this year's CILIP Carnegie shadowing scheme comments, "Monsters of Menis the best book I have ever read. The world is so believable due to Ness's clear, complex and brilliant writing."
Asked what winning the CILIP Carnegie Medal means to him, Patrick Ness comments:
"The list of Carnegie winners literally spans Arthur Ransome to Neil Gaiman. What an incredible, career-defining honour to be placed there, and I'm genuinely moved to have been chosen."
Patrick Ness is an American but has lived in the UK since 1999. The son of a drill sergeant in the US Army, he spent his early years in Hawaii, before moving with his family to the state of Washington when he was six. He always knew he wanted to be a writer and had his first short story published in a magazine in 1997. This was followed by a novel for adults (The Crash of Hennington) and a short story collection (Topics About Which I Know Nothing).
The Knife of Never Letting Go was his first novel for young people and was written while he was teaching creative writing at Kellogg College, Oxford. It won both the Guardian Award and the Booktrust Teenage Book Prize; The Ask and the Answer won the Costa Book Award. His most recent book "A Monster Calls" creates a tale from the final idea of the late Siobhan Dowd, herself a CILIP Carnegie Medal winner.
The CILIP Carnegie Medal is the UK's oldest and most prestigious prize for children's and young people's writing. Over the last seven decades it has come to be regarded as the arbiter of quality in writing for children and young people, and has frequently spotted fresh talent ahead of the market. Patrick Ness joins a list of distinguished past winners that includes Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Terry Pratchett, Noel Streatfeild and CS Lewis.
Writers often describe the Carnegie as ิthe one they want to win'. Although there is no cash prize, its prestige lies in its unique judging process. Most of today's literary and book awards seek submissions from publishers and votes from the public. Not the CILIP Carnegie: the Medal's selection process is rooted in the professional expertise of librarians across the country who nominate titles to be considered for a shortlist of up to eight titles, from which the winner is then chosen.
The CILIP Carnegie Medal and its sister award, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, are awarded annually by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
The 2011 winners were announced at a ceremony at BAFTA, Piccadilly, London at 12 noon on Thursday 23 June.
23 June 2011
For further information please contact:
CILIP Carnegie Greenaway
Tel: 0207 255 0650