Neil Gaiman, writer

Neil Gaiman, writer

By BBC Radio 4

Neil Gaiman is a writer whose list of titles spans many forms from novels, including American Gods, to children’s stories such as Coraline and the comic book the Sandman.

Neil grew up in East Grinstead and after finishing school he became a journalist and then wrote short stories and books. One of his early commissions was writing a companion to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In 1989 he began to write the Sandman series for DC Comics which were illustrated by his friend Dave McKean.

The Sandman became the first comic ever to receive a literary award - the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story – and is credited with bringing comics from an underground art form into the mainstream. It is currently in production as a television series.

Neil started writing what became the fantasy novel Good Omens in the 1980s but put it aside to concentrate on the Sandman. When his friend Terry Pratchett suggested they go back to it and finish it together, they turned Neil’s initial 5,000 words into a novel which was adapted for radio in 2014 and became a television series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen.

Neil wrote his first children’s book, The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish, in 1997. His next children’s book Coraline, about a little girl adrift in a parallel universe, was initially deemed to be too frightening to publish but is now a family favourite.

Neil is married to the musician Amanda Palmer and lives in upstate New York.

DISC ONE: Rock 'n' Roll Suicide by David Bowie DISC TWO: Love Unrequited (The Nightmare Song) composed by Gilbert & Sullivan, performed by The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, John Reed (baritone) and The New Symphony Orchestra Of London, conducted by Isidore Godfrey DISC THREE: Soho (Needless to Say) by Al Stewart DISC FOUR: The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd: "Attend The Tale Of Sweeney Todd", composed by Stephen Sondheim and performed by Len Cariou and the original Broadway Cast of Sweeney Todd- 1979 DISC FIVE: Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed DISC SIX: Tear in Your Hand by Tori Amos DISC SEVEN: Bees in Trees by Michael Nyman DISC EIGHT: Holding Your Hand by Thea Gilmore

BOOK CHOICE: The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe LUXURY ITEM: A Victorian accounts ledger, a fountain pen and an unlimited supply of ink CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bees in Trees by Michael Nyman

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

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