SFWA Names Susan Cooper the 40th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association has announced that the recipient of the 40th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is Susan Cooper, the author of many beloved and acclaimed novels for young readers. She is best known for the award-winning five-book sequence The Dark is Rising, which began with 1965’s Over Sea, Under Stone and concluded in Silver on the Tree (1977). The Grey King, the fourth book in the series, won the Newbery Medal.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Cooper was a journalist working for London’s Sunday Times. Her work also includes two biographies, several screenplays, many picture books, and books for young readers including The Boggart, Seaward, and Ghost Hawk. In 2002, she received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, an international prize given to creators of children’s books. In 2012, the American Library Association recognized her with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.”

She can now add to that list the SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award’s recognition for “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” Previous recipients of this award include Robin McKinley, Mercedes Lackey, Nalo Hopkinson, Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, and many more SFF luminaries.

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy said:

“Susan Cooper possesses the rare gift of being able to write for young people with a resonance that endures all through their adult lives. I feel as if The Dark Is Rising books have always been a part of my life. I memorized poems and passages from those books, which I can still recite today. When I first began writing fantasy of my own, I slipped in images and names from her stories in homage and celebration. It’s truly a great honor for me to name Susan Cooper as the 2024 Grand Master, a writer so foundational to the fantasy genre, for both readers and readers who became writers.”

The award will be presented to Cooper at this year’s SFWA Nebula Conference and the 59th Nebula Awards, which take place June 6-9, 2024, in Pasadena, California. For more details, see the conference website. icon-paragraph-end

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