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A life cut short: Siobhan Dowd

Post by: Snehith Kumbla


Before breast cancer cut short the life of gifted British writer Siobhan Dowd at 47, she had already completed what was to be her last book. Bog Child posthumously won for her the 2009 Carnegie Medal in Literature. The book was also recognised as the best book for young adults and children in Britain.


Dowd was born in 1960 in London.Her parents were Irish.In 1984, she joined PEN (Postsecondary Education Network International) as the international writer organisation's researcher and later as a Program Director for Pen American Center in New York City. Her association with PEN continued on her return to U.K.


Dowd undertook editing for a couple of anthologies for PEN, before a request to contribute a story to an Irish anthology kickstarted a career of writing for children.Dowd's debut novel, A Swift Pure Cry was released in 2006. The book won two Children's Book awards.Her second novel, The London Eye Mystery won the writer posthumous awards. Apart from Bog Child, the other Dowd novel published in 2009 after her death - Solace of the Road was also shortlisted for awards.After her death from breast cancer in 2007, the Siobhan Dowd Trust was set up for improving reading skills in disadvantaged children.   

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