Siobhan Dowd (pronounced Shivorn) was named one of the "top 100 Irish-Americans" for her global anti-censorship work with the writers' organization Dowd also co-founded the English PENs readers and writers program, which brings authors into underprivileged schools, prisons young offender institutions and community projects.
Her first book for young readers, A Swift Pure Cry, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and the BookTrust Teenage Prize. She is also the author of The London Eye Mystery (2007), and Bog Child (2008).
Siobhan died on August 21, 2007, at the age of 47. She had been receiving treatment for advanced breast cancer for 3 years and, according to her website, "did not go gentle into that good night."
Before she died she set up the Siobhan Dowd Trust to provide books and support for public and state school libraries in economically challenged areas, children in care, asylum seekers, young offenders, and children with special needs. Future royalties from her books will support the charity.
This article was originally published in November 2009, and has been updated for the
April 2011 paperback release.
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