Last month at the American Library Association meeting in Seattle, The Young Adult Library Services Association awarded the 2019 Margaret A. Edwards Award to author M.T. Anderson.
According to Award Committee Member Michael Cart, “M.T. Anderson is a true nonpareil, demonstrating an extraordinary facility for writing in a variety of forms and genres, standing virtually alone in his creative venturesomeness and bold innovation.”
Anderson has made significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens with his books Feed and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume I: The Pox Party and Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves.
The Edwards Award is named in honor of Margaret A. Edwards, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults.
Feed by M. T. Anderson
For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play around with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who knows something about what it’s like to live without the feed-and about resisting its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.
Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a brave new world – and a hilarious new lingo – sure to appeal to anyone who appreciates smart satire, futuristic fiction laced with humor, or any story featuring skin lesions as a fashion statement.
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
It sounds like a fairy tale. He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother — a princess in exile from a faraway land — are the only persons in their household assigned names. As the boy’s regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians’ fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments — and his own chilling role in them.
Set against the disquiet of Revolutionary Boston, M. T. Anderson’s extraordinary novel takes place at a time when American Patriots rioted and battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim. The first of two parts, this deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
Fearing a death sentence, Octavian and his tutor, Dr. Trefusis, escape through rising tides and pouring rain to find shelter in British-occupied Boston. Sundered from all he knows — the College of Lucidity, the rebel cause — Octavian hopes to find safe harbor. Instead, he is soon to learn of Lord Dunmore’s proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join the counterrevolutionary forces.
In Volume II of his unparalleled masterwork, M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian’s experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him, thrusting him into intense battles and tantalizing him with elusive visions of liberty. Ultimately, this astonishing narrative escalates to a startling, deeply satisfying climax, while reexamining our national origins in a singularly provocative light.