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Joan Aiken

Joan Delano Aiken MBE (4 September 1924 – 4 January 2004) was an English writer specialising in supernatural fiction and children's alternative history novels. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature.

Joan Aiken produced more than a hundred books, including more than a dozen collections of fantasy stories, plays and poems, and modern and historical novels for adults and children. She was a lifelong fan of ghost stories, particularly those of M. R. James, Fitz James O'Brien and Nugent Barker

Some of her books focus on supernatural events, including The Windscreen Weepers, The Shadow Guests, A Whisper in the Night and A Creepy Company . She set her adult supernatural novel, The Haunting of Lamb House, at Lamb House in Rye.  This ghost story recounts in fictional form an alleged haunting experienced by two former residents of the house, Henry James and E. F. Benson, both of whom also wrote ghost stories.

For The Whispering Mountain, published by Jonathan Cape in 1968, she won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers and she was a commended runner-up for the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British writer. In 1972 She won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for "Night Fall" and In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature. 

To find out more please visit the Joan Aiken website


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