22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Meg Rosoff

Portrait Meg Rosoff
© Ali Ghandtschi

Likened by »The Times« to »Samuel Beckett on ecstasy«, Meg Rosoff’s novels have set a new standard for young adult literature. Born in Boston in 1956, Rosoff decided to follow her dream of being a writer after her younger sister died of cancer. She first studied art and English literature at Harvard as well as a year of sculpture in London, and worked in publishing and advertising for a number of years.

In 2004 she published her prize-winning first novel, »How I Live Now«, which remained on the bestseller list for adult fiction in Great Britain for several weeks. Implacable and funny, with great intensity and rapid punctuation, Meg Rosoff creates a menacing and diffuse portrait of a topsy-turvy world and tells of the power of unconditional love. Her intensely atmospheric works reveal Rosoff to be a keen observer of adolescent sentiments and thoughts. She handles her characters with great benevolence and the deepest trust, creating delicate portraits that reveal the »drama of growing up and searching for one’s identity« (»Die Zeit«). According to Rosoff, teenagers »are experiencing a lot of stuff that adults experience, but in a much more raw way. It’s that extremity I’m interested in.« In her young adult novel »Just in Case« (2006), David, who saves his brother from falling out of a window and becomes acutely aware of fate as a result, is yet another complex character who is subjected to Rosoff’s scrutiny. The author fine-tunes »playing with identities, their self-centered obsession with their own selves with philosophically muddled, playful humor and a youthful mega-drive in a crazy novel about adolescence«, said the jury when nominating the author for the German Youth Literature Prize, 2008. Rosoff’s coming-of-age novel, »What I Was« (2007), is set in England in the 1960s. The perceived blasphemous subject of »There Is No Dog« (2011) was met with considerable controversy. Her most recent novel »Picture Me Gone« (2013) tells of a twelve-year-old girl’s search for her father’s friend, who has suddenly vanished. With her father, she embarks on a journey that takes them across the USA and to Canada. Told from a daughter’s and father’s perspective, the novel is part road movie, part family story.

Rosoff has received many international prizes for her work, which includes picture books, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award (2004), the Michael L. Printz Award (2005) and the coveted Carnegie Medal (2006) and Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She lives in London.