Tribute to award-winning author Graham Joyce

Posted by pt91 at Sep 10, 2014 11:15 AM |
MA English and American Literature graduate of the University of Leicester was known for his fantasy writing

The award-winning author of speculative fiction Graham Joyce, a graduate of the University of Leicester, has died aged 59.

His death on 9 September 2014 was announced on Twitter and reported in the Leicester Mercury.

Graham studied for an MA in English and American Literature in our School of English, receiving his degree in 1980. Following a role as Senior Youth Officer at the National Association of Youth Clubs, he secured his first publishing deal in 1989 for his first novel Dreamside and went on to become a prolific and award-winning writer, winning the British Fantasy Award on no less than six occasions, the French Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire twice and in 2009 was awarded the prestigious O Henry award in the USA for his short story ‘An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen’. He won his first writing award, The George Fraser Poetry Award, at the University in 1980.

Dr Harry Whitehead, Senior Tutor for Creative Writing in our Centre for New Writing, said: "It was a shock to hear that Graham Joyce had died. At 59, it is just too soon, and robs us of the many more fabulous novels he could have written. A fantasy author, his work transcended genre in the quality of its prose, its insight into the human condition, its sheer wild imagination and joie de vivre. He was just such a joy to read. Many of my students cited him as their favourite author and were always so pleased to learn he lived locally and studied here at the University. I know everyone in the School of English will want to send our thoughts to his family at such a sad time. Yet I hope we can also celebrate him for the many great works he gave us."

In 2010 he spoke to the University’s Graduates’ Review about his time at Leicester: “It was at Leicester with an antique typewriter in my room that I started to nurture ideas of becoming a writer and often scribbled articles for the student newspaper Ripple. I would drag Suzanne [his wife] off to poetry readings at the Charles Wilson Building (which she said were “Truly Awful”).”

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