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Friday, May 18, 2007

Official Press Release from Henry Holt Books: In Memory of Lloyd Alexander

"Henry Holt Books For Young Readers is saddened to announce the passing of one of the greats of literature and the father of modern children’s fantasy, Lloyd Alexander. Mr. Alexander passed away at home this morning at the age of 83 after a battle with cancer, two weeks after the death of his wife of sixty-two years.

Mr. Alexander was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1924. He decided he wanted to be a writer at age 15 while at Upper Darby High School. Mr. Alexander joined the US Army at the start of World War II, looking for authentic adventure, and eventually rose to be a staff sergeant in intelligence and counterintelligence. Much of Mr. Alexander’s military training happened in Wales, a country’s whose mythic traditions and bold landscape would inspire many of his books. Mr. Alexander then attended the University of Paris, where he met Janine Denni. They were married in 1946.

In 1964, Lloyd Alexander began his most famous work, The Chronicles of Prydain with the publication of the first book in the series, The Book of Three. More than 40 years later, the series remains one of the most widely read in the history of fantasy. Mr. Alexander’s books have captivated the imaginations of people as well as garnered numerous accolades including two Newbery medals for The Black Cauldron and The High King and an animated feature adaptation from Disney. Mr. Alexander also won the National Book Award for The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian and Westmark. He also wrote many novels for adults. His final novel, The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, an adventure in the tradition of Aladdin and other Middle Eastern folk-tales, will be published by Holt in August of 2007. His tremendous written legacy will inspire readers and writers for years to come."

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