Patrick Ness provoked an outpouring of goodwill and generosity through a campaign spread online (through a fundraising page) and over social media. The author asked followers to donate money to aid the Syrian refugees currently making their way into Western Europe, and pledged to match £10,000 of his own in donations. The campaign was an extraordinary success, exceeding expectations and is now close to raising (possibly even in excess of) its initial goal.
It had totalled 6 figures by Saturday 5 September, and according to the fundraising page’s Sunday update, the total stands at over £430,000 – this sum is simply the donated money though, as with Gift Aid added on top, the total amounts to an amazing £495,000. This almost quarter of a million pounds has been donated by over 5,000 people, including other authors such as Cressida Cowell, Anthony Horowitz, Rainbow Rowell, John Green and many, many more.
In other book news:
The book ban on prisoners in the UK has this week been lifted, after the action was deemed unlawful back in December 2014. Prisoners are now legally allowed once more to receive books from family and friends while incarcerated in British prisons.
Terry Pratchett’s final novel The Shepherd’s Crown has topped the book charts after selling more than 52,000 copies in three days following its much-hyped release. With this book’s success in the charts, Pratchett’s oeuvre gained its tenth British number one.
Finally, American writer and a giant of contemporary American fiction, Don DeLillo, is being awarded a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in the U.S., in praise of his decades of writings (White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man). This is one of the most prestigious honours in the American literary scene, and last year was awarded to Ursula K Le Guin. Previous winners across the award’s eighteen year history include Ray Bradbury, Arthur Miller, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, Joan Didion and Stephen King. DeLillo’s announcement at the ceremony, to be held on 18 November in New York, will be by Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad).