The kind people from Bookend Trust (who last year guided our school through a coastal clean up along local beaches and taught the students the importance of environmental care) helped co-ordinate a visit to Dunalley from one of their patrons, Neil Gaiman.
Neil is a multi-award winning author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. Among his work are the novels, Coraline (which was adapted into a film), Stardust and The Graveyard Book, which won the prestigious Newbery and Carnegie medals for literature. He has also written recent episodes of Dr Who.
Neil arrived in Dunalley yesterday to hand deliver a large collection of books donated by his publishers, Hachette Australia and Bloomsbury, for the new school library. The collection consisting of a full set of Neil’s children’s books and a wider selection of the publishers’ other children’s titles.
They also gave a selection of Neil’s adult books and titles from other authors that can be distributed to the wider community and/or used for fundraising. What legends.
A group of very excited children and some slightly star struck grown-ups (and a couple of Dr Who tragics) gathered at the Waterfront Cafe in Dunalley to thank Neil and those who helped make it all happen. Then they waved him goodbye as he took off in a seaplane bound for Hobart. He later performed at the MONA bushfire benefit concert, reading with a music accompaniment.
Thank you to Neil, his publishers and Niall Doran for such a wonderful gesture. Thanks also to Polly Adams (daughter of ‘Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams), 2012 Australian of the Year Andrew Hughes, Craig Wellington and Rob Pennicott for their support and accompaniment.
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
― Neil Gaiman