2002 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner Paul Zindel
Paul Zindel, author of "The Pigman" (1968), "The Pigman's Legacy" (1984), "The Pigman & Me" (1993), "My Darling, My Hamburger"(1969), and "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds: A Drama in Two Acts" (1971), is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in writing for young adults.
Zindel's versatility as a storyteller is demonstrated in his numerous books, plays and autobiography - many of which remain in print today. The books recognized are published by Harper Collins and Bantam Dell Publishing.
"Paul Zindel knows and understands the reality young adults deal with day-to-day," said Committee Chair Mary Long, a teacher-librarian at Wilson Middle School in Plano, Texas. "He has the ability to depict young adults in an honest and realistic way. The characters he developed nearly 40 years ago still speak to today's teens."
The award, sponsored by School Library Journal and administered by the Young Adult Library Service Association (YALSA), was announced January 21 at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans. Zindel will receive $2,000 at the YALSA Awards Luncheon during the ALA Annual Conference to be held in Atlanta in June 2002.
In "The Pigman," widely recognized as one of the first authentic young adult novels; its sequel "The Pigman's Legacy;" and "My Darling, My Hamburger," Zindel's teen characters search for a sense of self, a way to connect with others and an understanding of the adult world into which they are moving.
The autobiographical "The Pigman and Me," reveals the experiences that provided the foundation for his fictional character Pigman. In "My Darling, My Hamburger" a cutting-edge novel for its time, characters grapple with issues of relationships, sexuality, friendship and taking responsibility for their actions. In the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," Zindel masterfully creates a poignant character that is bound to succeed despite overwhelming odds. This play continues to be performed by teens today.
Zindel currently lives in New Jersey. He earned a bachelor's of science and a master's of science degree from Wagner College, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater. Zindel demonstrates to teens that they have worth and can contribute to the world. Serious issues are lightened by an offbeat sense of humor.
Members of the Edwards Award Committee are Mary Long, chair; Maria Gentle, Arlington County Public Library, Arlington, Va.; Andrew Hunter, Dallas Public Library; Joanne Rosario, New York Public Library; and Susan Rosenzweig, consultant, Lincoln, R.I. YALSA is a division of the ALA.