The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) announced that Susan Cooper has been named a Damon Knight Grand Master, a lifetime achievement award given to an author of science fiction or fantasy literature.
Cooper was born and raised in England and educated at the University of Oxford. She worked as a journalist before making her literary debut in 1964 with the science fiction novel Mandrake.
One year later, she published Over Sea, Under Stone, a fantasy novel for young readers that would become the first installment in The Dark Is Rising Sequence of books, which also included The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree. The Grey King won the prestigious John Newbery Medal for children’s literature.
She is also the author of several picture books for children, including Frog, illustrated by Jane Browne; The Word Pirates, illustrated by Steven Kellogg; and The Shortest Day, illustrated by Carson Ellis.
In a statement, Jeffe Kennedy, the SFWA president, 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.”
The Grand Master Award was first given to Robert A. Heinlein in 1975. Other recipients include Andrew Norton, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Mercedes Lackey.
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.