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Anne Fine, OBE FRSL (born 7 December 1947) is an English writer. Although best known for children's books, she also writes for adults. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and she was appointed an OBE in 2003.
|Born||7 December 1947|
|Alma mater||University of Warwick|
|Genre||Children's literature (all ages); black comedy|
|Notable awards||Carnegie Medal |
|Spouse||Kit Fine (divorced)|
Fine has written more than seventy children's books, including two winners of the annual Carnegie Medal and three highly commended runners-up.[a] For some of those five books she also won the Guardian Prize, one Smarties Prize, two Whitbread Awards, and she was twice the Children's Author of the Year.
Fine was born and raised in Leicester and educated in neighbouring midland counties of England. She attended Northampton High School and earned a degree in politics from the University of Warwick. She was married to the philosopher Kit Fine until they were divorced; she has now been with her partner Dick Warren for more than twenty years. She currently lives in Barnard Castle, County Durham, England. She and Kit Fine have two daughters named Cordelia Fine and Ione Fine.
She has four sisters; her father was an electrical engineer and she grew up in Fareham, Hampshire. The eldest of the sisters is Elizabeth Arnold who also writes books for children; the three younger sisters were triplets. She studied History and Politics at university, got married, and then her daughter Cordelia was born. At age 24, she wrote her first book.
Describing the start of her writing career, Fine has written: “In 1971 my first daughter was born. Unable to get to the library in a snowstorm to change my library books, in desperation I sat down and started to write a novel. Clearly this was the right job for me, for I have never stopped writing for more than a few weeks since”. In September 2010, Fine told The Daily Telegraph’s Jessica Salter that this first book lay under her bed after being rejected by two publishers, adding “Five years later I unearthed it and entered it in a competition where I was runner-up, and it was finally published in 1978”.
Her books for older children include Madame Doubtfire (1987), a satirical novel that Twentieth Century Fox filmed as Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams. Goggle-Eyes (Hamish Hamilton, 1989) was adapted for television by Deborah Hall for the BBC.
Her work has been translated into 45 languages.
In March 2014, Fine lent her support to the campaign Let Books Be Books, which aims to persuade publishers of children's books to stop labelling and promoting books as "for boys" or "for girls". She told U.K. newspaper The Guardian: "You'd think this battle would have been won decades ago. But even some seemingly bright and observant adults are buying into it again […] There are girls of all sorts, with all interests, and boys of all sorts with all interests. Just meeting a few children should make that obvious enough. But no, these idiotic notions are spouted so often they become a self-fulfilling societal straitjacket from which all our children suffer".
Awards and nominationsEdit
The biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children's books. In 1998, Fine was one of five finalists for the writing award.
She won the 1989 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising Goggle-Eyes as that year's best children's book, and she was one of two highly commended runners-up for the same Medal with Bill's New Frock.[a] She also won the once-in-a-lifetime Guardian Prize for Goggle-Eyes and the Smarties Prize in ages category 6–8 years for Bill's New Frock.
Three years later, she won the Carnegie Medal again for Flour Babies (Hamilton, 1992), which was also named the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. The Tulip Touch (Hamilton, 1996) was her second Whitbread winner and her second highly commended for the Carnegie.
Up on Cloud Nine (Doubleday, 2002) was the last highly commended Carnegie runner-up, a distinction then used 29 times in 24 years. Fine is one of seven authors to win two Carnegie Medals (1936–2012) and the only author of three Highly Commended books.[a]
- 1989 Carnegie Medal – Goggle-Eyes
- 1990 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize – Goggle-Eyes
- 1990 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, ages 6–8 – Bill's New Frock
- 1990 Children's Author of the Year Award, Publishing News[clarification needed]
- 1991 Children's Author of the Year, British Book Awards
- 1992 Carnegie Medal – Flour Babies
- 1993 Whitbread Award, Children's Book – Flour Babies
- 1993 Children's Author of the Year Award, Publishing News
- 1994 Children's Author of the Year, British Book Awards
- 1996 Whitbread Award, Children's Book – The Tulip Touch
- 1998 Prix Sorcières, best children's book translated into French – Journal d'un chat assassin (Diary of a Killer Cat)
- Runners-up, nominations, etc.
- 1984 Guardian shortlist – The Granny Project
- 1987 Guardian shortlist – Madame Doubtfire
- 1987 Whitbread shortlist – Madame Doubtfire
- 1989 Carnegie, highly commended – Bill's New Frock
- 1993 Carnegie shortlist – The Angel of Nitshill Road
- 1996 Carnegie, highly commended – Tulip Touch
- 2002 Carnegie, highly commended – Up on Cloud Nine
- 2004 shortlist for the Red House Children's Book Award, Younger Readers – The More The Merrier
- 2006 Carnegie shortlist – The Road of Bones
- 2007 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, ages 6–8, second place – Ivan the Terrible
- 2014 Carnegie shortlist - Blood Family
- Poor Monty (1991) ISBN 1-4052-1097-4
- Ruggles (2001, ISBN 0-86264-895-5), illustrated by Ruth Brown
- Big Red Balloon (2012)
- Hole in the Road (2014)
- Under the Bed (2015)
For younger childrenEdit
- Scaredy-Cat (1985) ISBN 1-4052-0251-3
- Stranger Danger? (1989, ISBN 0-14-130913-X), illus. Jean Baylis
- Only a Show (1990, ISBN 0-14-038843-5), illus. Valerie Littlewood
- The Worst Child I Ever Had (1991, ISBN 0-14-034799-2), illus. Clara Vullianny
- Design a Pram (1991, ISBN 1-4052-0137-1), illus. P. Dupasquier
- The Same Old Story Every Year (1992, ISBN 0-14-130275-5), illus. Vanessa Julian-Ottie
- The Haunting of Pip Parker (1992) ISBN 0-7445-8294-6
- Press Play (1994, ISBN 1-4052-0185-1), illus. Terry McKenna
- The Diary of a Killer Cat (1994, ISBN 0-14-036931-7), illus. Steve Cox —in French translation, winner of the 1998 Prix Sorcières
- Care of Henry (1996, ISBN 0-7445-8270-9), illus. Paul Howard
- Jennifer's Diary (1996, ISBN 0-14-038060-4), illus. Kate Aldous
- Countdown (1996, ISBN 0-7497-4672-6), illus. David Higham
- Roll Over Roly (1999, ISBN 0-14-131504-0), illus. P. Dupasquier
- Notso Hotso (2001) ISBN 0-241-14138-9
- The Jamie and Angus Stories (2002, ISBN 0-7445-5965-0), illus. Penny Dale
- A Shame to Miss 1: Perfect poems for young readers, selected by Anne Fine (2002) ISBN 0-552-54867-7 —anthology
- How to Cross the Road and Not Turn into a Pizza (2002, ISBN 0-7445-9001-9), illus. Tony Ross
- The Return of the Killer Cat (2003) ISBN 0-14-131719-1
- Nag Club (2004) ISBN 0-7445-9796-X
- It Moved! (2006) ISBN 1-4063-0013-6
- Jamie and Angus Together (2007), illus. Penny Dale
- The Killer Cat Strikes Back (2007)
- The Killer Cat's Birthday Bash (2008)
- Jamie and Angus Forever (2009), illus. Penny Dale
- Under a Silver Moon (2012)
- Out for the Count (2016)
For middle childrenEdit
- Anneli the Art Hater (1986) ISBN 1-4052-0186-X
- A Pack of Liars (1988) ISBN 0-14-032954-4
- Crummy Mummy and Me (1988, ISBN 0-14-032876-9), illus. David Higham
- A Sudden Puff of Glittering Smoke (1989)
- A Sudden Swirl of Icy Wind (1990)
- A Sudden Glow of Gold (1991)
- The Country Pancake (1989, ISBN 1-4052-0062-6), illus. Philippe Dupasquier – also published as Saving Miss Mirabelle
- Bill's New Frock (1989, ISBN 1-4052-0060-X), illus. P. Dupasquier —winner of the Smarties Prize, ages 6–8
- The Chicken Gave It To Me (1992, ISBN 1-4052-0078-2), illus. P. Dupasquier
- The Angel of Nitshill Road (1993, ISBN 1-4052-0184-3), illus. P. Dupasquier
- How To Write Really Badly (1996, ISBN 1-4052-0061-8), illus. P. Dupasquier
- Loudmouth Louis (1998, ISBN 0-14-130205-4), illus, Kate Aldous
- Charm School (1999, ISBN 0-440-86400-3), illus. Ros Asquith
- Telling Tales (Interview/Autobiography) (1999) ISBN 1-4052-0053-7
- Bad Dreams (2000) ISBN 0-440-86424-0
- A Shame to Miss 2: Ideal poems for middle readers, selected by Anne Fine (2002) ISBN 0-552-54868-5 —anthology
- The More the Merrier (2003) ISBN 0-440-86585-9; in the US, The True Story of Christmas
- Frozen Billy (2004) ISBN 0-385-60769-5
- Ivan the Terrible (2007) ISBN 1-4052-3324-9
- Eating Things on Sticks (2010)
- Trouble in Toadpool (2012)
- On Planet Fruitcake (2013)
For older childrenEdit
- The Summer-House Loon (Methuen, 1978) [b]
- The Other Darker Ned (1979) [b]
- The Stone Menagerie (1980) ISBN 0-7497-4603-3
- Round Behind the Ice-House (1981) ISBN 0-14-037363-2
- The Granny Project (1983) ISBN 0-7497-4832-X
- Madame Doubtfire (1987) ISBN 0-14-037355-1; in the US, Alias Madame Doubtfire
- Goggle-Eyes (1989) ISBN 0-14-034071-8; in the US, My War with Goggle-Eyes —winner of the Carnegie Medal and Guardian Prize
- The Book of the Banshee (1991) ISBN 0-14-034704-6
- Flour Babies (1992) ISBN 0-14-036147-2 —winner of the Carnegie Medal and Whitbread Award
- Step by Wicked Step (1995) ISBN 0-14-036647-4
- The Tulip Touch (1996) ISBN 0-14-037808-1 —winner of the Whitbread Award
- Very Different (2001) ISBN 0-7497-4370-0 —short story collection
- Up on Cloud Nine (2002) ISBN 0-385-60372-X
- A Shame to Miss 3: Irresistible poetry for young adults, selected by Anne Fine (2002) ISBN 0-552-54869-3 —anthology
- On the Summerhouse Steps (2006, ISBN 0-552-55269-0)[b]
- The Road of Bones (2006) ISBN 0-385-61063-7
- Fly in the Ointment (2008) ISBN 978-0-552-77467-3
- The Devil Walks (2011)
- Blood Family (2013) –shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal
- Blue Moon Day (2014) –short story collection
- Nobody has ever treated Ian Laidlow in a natural way. Disfigured by hideous facial scars he had never been treated with anything other than distant courtesy. But then Alicia Davie, a careless, ignorant young student breaks this pattern by laughing in his face. Alicia goes on to infiltrate the hidden man, going through the face he presents to the world, through his scar patch, to discover the hidden man, never realising that she is playing with fire...
- A glorious tirade against the grind of motherhood. Lilith Collett lives in an Eden, a paradise that enchanted the childhoods of her children. Now if any one of them dares to defy her in the smallest matter, she destroys yet another part of the garden and of their childhood. Enter an archangel, Miguel-Angel Arqueso Algaron Perez de Vega, under whose spell the downtrodden Barbara dares to defy her mother. When Williams lover Casper weighs in his subtle way the fate of the Colletts and their garden are finally and unexpectedly sealed.
- A philosopher spends his summer with his children, his ex-wife and his ex-gardener (his ex-wife's new husband) to write his autobiography. His notes are interspersed with his wife's side of the story, and though philosophy was always easier for Oliver than real life, real life is about to come crashing down around him.
- Today there are usually eight books on the Carnegie shortlist.
CCSU lists 32 "Highly Commended" runners-up for the Carnegie Medal from 1966 to 2002 but only three before 1979 when the distinction became approximately annual. There were 29 "HC" books in 24 years including two in 1989 and one each in 1996 and 2002. (The "Commended" distinction was used about 135 times from 1954 to 2002.)
• No one has won three Carnegies. Among the seven authors with two Medals, six were active during 1966–2002 and all wrote at least one highly commended runner-up, led by Anne Fine with three.
- Anne Fine's first two books, The Summer-House Loon and The Other Darker Ned, published by Methuen Children's Books in 1978 and 1979, were updated, linked by new text, and published by Corgi Children's Books in 2006 under the title On The Summerhouse Steps.
- Salter, Jessica (14 September 2010). "World of Anne Fine, author". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Anne Fine Awarded OBE". Jubilee Books. 21 July 2003. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
- "Carnegie Medal Award". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "Hans Christian Andersen Awards". International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "Candidates for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 1956–2002". The Hans Christian Andersen Awards, 1956–2002. IBBY. Gyldendal. 2002. Pages 110–18. Hosted by Austrian Literature Online (literature.at). Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- "Anne Fine". Children's Laureate (childrenslaureate.org.uk). Booktrust. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- Hollindale, Peter (1999) An Interview with Anne Fine. London: Mammoth
- Anne Fine. "Anne Fine's Biography". www.annefine.co.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopaedia of Satirical Literature, Oxford, 1996, p. xv.
- "Anne Fine's books in translation" Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Flood, Alison (7 March 2014). "Parents push to end gender division of boys' and girls' books". www.theguardian.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- (Carnegie Winner 1989). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". theguardian 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Anne Fine: Children's Laureate 2001-3". www.childrenslaureate.org.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "CBE for former Bishop of Durham". BBC News. 13 June 2003. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Anne Fine" Archived 11 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Literature: Writers. British Council. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- (Carnegie Winner 1992). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- Official website
- "My Home Library" program launch, by Fine as Children's Laureate
- Anne Fine at British Council: Literature
- Anne Fine at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour interview about Raking the Ashes on 11 April 2005.
- BBC Radio 4 interview about Raking the Ashes on 18 April 2005.
- Transcript of interview with Ramona Koval, The Book Show, ABC Radio National, 8 September 2008
- Interview with Anne Fine (Veronika Asks) on 13 November 2010
- Anne Fine at British Council: Literature: Writers
| Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom