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Shaun Tan  [ Australia ]

Biography

kjl.Tan.portrait.jpg
© Allen&Unwin

Guest 2010.

Bibliography

The Viewer

[Text: Gary Crew]

Lothian Children’s Books

Melbourne, 1997

Ein neues Land

Carlsen

Hamburg, 2008

Geschichten aus der Vorstadt des Universums

Carlsen

Hamburg, 2008

[Ü: Eike Schönfeld]

Die Fundsache

Carlsen

Hamburg, 2009

[Ü: Eike Schönfeld]

The Rabbits

[Text: John Marsden]

Hachette Australia

Sydney, 2010

Shaun Tan, born in 1974 in Perth is not only an acclaimed, award-winning artist in his own country. When he was young, he had already begun drawing science fiction and horror stories for magazines. He later studied Art and English Literature at the University of Western Australia. He works today as a freelance artist, author, illustrator and director of animation films.

Over the past few years, he has become known to a growing audience in Europe—both adults and children—who have been entranced by his fantastic illustrative worlds with their wealth of references and associative spaces. The author factors this cross-generational readership into his concepts for words and images. He organises complex social, political and historical themes, for example migration in the wordless graphic novel »The Arrival« (2006); the arms race; creativity; the need for self-fulfillment; and individual cultural and social identities under external restrictions. His books challenge readers to question their surroundings and to discover the ubiquitous »otherness« behind the apparently normal routines of daily life. »Some stories are ambivalent. But I think that ambiguity is better than security because it allows you to glimpse the Other«, is how Shaun Tan described his narrative concept in an interview with Deutschlandradio. In the short story collection »Tales from Outer Suburbia« (2008) the author writes in simple prose — but with great seriousness — about a world between reality and fantasy. At first glance, It only seems to be about normal, coincidental events and connections. His children's book »The Lost Thing« (2000) also tackled themes which are quite challenging for a young audience: identity, friendship, social responsibility, fear of the unknown and the relationship between humans and machines. A young boy walking along the beach finds a bizarre creature. When he tries to find out more about its origins, he learns that the people around him are not at all interested in helping him and don't want him to disturb them in their daily routines.

Shaun Tan has won several national and international awards, including the German Prize for Youth Literature in 2009 for »Tales from Outer Suburbia«, for which he was the first author ever to have been nominated for two titles in the same category. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three birds.

[http://www.shauntan.net]

Shaun Tan
© Ali Ghandtschi

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