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Shaun Tan - Author

About the Author

Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the “good drawer” which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author, concentrating mostly on writing and illustrating picture books.

Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since then he has received numerous awards for his picture books, including the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Picture Book of the Year Award for The Rabbits with John Marsden. In 2001 Shaun was named Best Artist at the World Fantasy Awards in Montreal. He has recently worked for Blue Sky Studios and Pixar, providing concept artwork for forthcoming films. He has worked as a theatre designer, a concept artist for animated films including Pixar's WALL-E and directed the Academy Award-winning short film, The Lost Thing in 2011. In the same year, Tan received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, honouring his contribution to international children's literature.

Shaun Tan on himself and Eric:

"Drawing a good picture is like telling a really good lie – the key is in the incidental detail," says Shaun Tan.  (interview with Guardian Online, 2009)

“A recurring theme in my sketchbook are characters carrying a suitcase. I’m not sure why. Sometimes it arises because I’ve drawn a character and they look silly standing there without anything in their hands, so I’ll often add a suitcase or a box. This constantly suggested a story.   The story ‘Eric’ in Tales from Outer Suburbia was suggested by a similar drawing of a little character with a pointy head and the word Eric written underneath.

I do rarely give names. 'Eric' is an exception, but even then the name is a substitute for something we can’t hear or pronounce properly, so we never know his real name.”   (interview with Write Away, 2009)

Featured books by Shaun Tan

Rules of Summer

Rules of Summer

5+ readers 7+ readers

Author: Shaun Tan Illustrator: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/10/2013

Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.

Other books by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan Notebook - Koala (Blue)

Shaun Tan Notebook - Koala (Blue)

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2011

Shaun Tan Notebook - Bee Eater (Yellow)

Shaun Tan Notebook - Bee Eater (Yellow)

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2011

The Red Tree

The Red Tree

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2010

The Rabbits

The Rabbits

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2010

Lost Thing

Lost Thing

Author: Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/04/2010

The Arrival

The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2007

What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown. This silent graphic novel is the story of every migrant, every refugee, every displaced person, and a tribute to all those who have made the journey. THE ARRIVAL has become one of the most critically acclaimed books of recent years, a wordless masterpiece that describes a world beyond any familiar time or place. Sited as No 35 in The Times 100 Best Books of all time. It has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. An imaginative triumph. Every home should have one. - The Times It will fascinate and occupy adults and children alike. - The Observer Shaun Tan is an internationally and critically acclaimed prize winning author/ illustrator. Amongst others, he has won the Astrid Lindgren prize, the Crichton Award, the World Fantasy Best Artist Award and was the first BAME author to win the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2020. Read more about The Arrival at www.thearrival.com.au Find out more about Shaun Tan at http://www.shauntan.net

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.shauntan.net/

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