Melvin Burgess was born 25 April 1954, and is a British writer of children's fiction is best known as the author of Junk - one of the most acclaimed and controversial books for young people ever to have been written. Neither the fact that Melvin came to write Junk, nor its resulting success surprised those already familiar with his work. "This writer involves the reader (and) plays havoc with the emotions," observed Wendy Cooling long before the controversy over Junk began.
His debut novel The Cry of the Wolf had prompted author Robert Westall to say, "As the shocker of the seventies, I'd like to say hello to the shocker of the nineties...". The Cry of the Wolf was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, as were Burgess's later titles: An Angel For May, The Baby and Fly Pie and The Ghost Behind the Wall. Fly Pie, a thriller in which a group of street children get involved in a baby kidnap, provided a clear signpost to the road that Burgess was travelling; the road that would lead to Junk, Bloodtide and Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Described by The Guardian as "...a book about a teenage girl who embarks on a rampant sexual odyssey on the eve of her GCSEs.")
Melvin Burgess was brought up in Sussex and Berkshire. As a child, his reading included The Wind in the Willows and Gerald Durrell's animal stories. He went on to enjoy The Hobbit and Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books. A generally unconfident student, he became interested in writing when he was twelve and an English teacher praised one of his stories - "it was about the first time I'd ever done anything that got an A. I was so pleased I never stopped." After leaving school, Melvin moved to Bristol where he worked on occasional jobs, mainly in the building industry, and was often unemployed. He started writing in his twenties and wrote on and off for the next fifteen years before The Cry of the Wolf was published. He moved to London in 1983 and began a small business marbling fabrics for the fashion industry.
Melvin no lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, with his partner Anita, and writes full-time.
About This Biography
This biography was last updated on 03/11/2014. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.