World Fantasy Awardees for Best Fantasy Book

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American Gods (2001)

Written by Neil Gaiman

The storm was coming….

Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose accepts.

But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip and encounters, among others, the murderous Czernobog, the impish Mr. Nancy, and the beautiful Easter – all of whom seem to know more about Shadow than he himself does.

Shadow will learn that the past does not die, that everyone, including his late wife, had secrets, and that the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined.

All around them a storm of epic proportions threatens to break. Soon Shadow and Wednesday will be swept up into a conflict as old as humanity itself. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought – and the prize is the very soul of America.

As unsettling as it is exhilarating, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, this work of literary magic will haunt the reader far beyond the final page. (Copyright © William Morrow/HarperCollins. All rights reserved.)

Source:  HarperCollins Publishers.

Neil Richard Gaiman was born 10 November 1960. He is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery Medal, and Carnegie Medal in Literature. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work.

In the early 1980s, Gaiman pursued journalism, conducting interviews and writing book reviews. After forming a friendship with comic book writer Alan Moore, Gaiman started writing comic books, picking up Marvelman after Moore finished his run on the series. In a collaboration with author Terry Pratchett (best known for his series of Discworld novels), Gaiman's first novel Good Omens was published in 1990. He wrote reviews for different publishers, comics for DC and Marvel, novels like Anansi Boys and American Gods, juvenile and young adults like Coraline and The Graveyard Book, short stories in which some are collected in Smoke and Mirrors and occasional films and movies like Dave McKean's Mirrormask and the Neverwhere TV series.

For more information on Neil Gaiman and his works, visit his website at http://www.neilgaiman.com.

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