SOLACE OF THE ROAD is the final offering from Siobhan Dowd. Her brief but spectacular writing career began with the release of A SWIFT PURE CRY in 2006, but really her contribution to the book world began much earlier than that.
Born in 1960, Siobhan carried a passion about human rights and literature into her academic life. After graduating with a BA from Oxford and an MA from Greenwich University, she went on to join the writer’s group PEN in 1984.
Founded in 1921, PEN was established with the following goals in mind: To promote intellectual co-operation and understanding between writers To create a world community of writers that would emphasize the central role of literature in the development of world culture To defend literature against the many threats to its survival which the modern world poses.
Dowd traveled with PEN in various significant roles before returning to the UK, where she co-founded English PEN’s readers and writers program, taking authors into schools in socially deprived areas.
In 2004 she had her first writing published, a short story in the collection ‘Skin Deep’. This was also the year she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
In the three years that followed, Siobhan wrote four full length novels, which have continued to be released after her death in 2007. THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY was published to great acclaim (have a look, here), and BOG CHILD won the 2009 CILIP Carnegie Medal (the award was accepted by David Fickling in an extremely moving ceremony) SOLACE OF THE ROAD is the last of these. All royalties from her works go to the Siobhan Dowd Trust, aimed at getting books to children in underprivileged areas.
*this article appeared in the fist issue of 'A Little Book News' and was writtem by Bec Kavanagh
The Little Bookroom opened its doors to the public on Friday the 13th October, 1960, the first bookstore in Australia to stock only children's books.
The shop is named for a collection of stories by Eleanor Farjeon who wrote "I am proud and happy to know you've chosen the title of my book for the title of your Bookshop in the City my Father first set foot in the 1850s when he emigrated to Australia as a boy of 16. The stories he told me of his arrival in Melbourne have always made it seem to be one of 'my' cities. Thankyou for giving me a home in it".
The Little Bookroom's logo also comes from its award-winning namesake - it is a treasured example of Edward Ardizzone's ink illustration.
The Little Bookroom is now located at 759 Nicholson St with Albert’s original shelves, and has a city outpost at 5 Degraves St, Melbourne (doors opened in Feb 2011).