The list of authors who are equally acclaimed from within the genre and by the mainstream literary establishment is a short one (an oversight that is almost – but not entirely – a one-sided affair). There’s J.G. Ballard, of course, and his friend Michael Moorcock; there’s Ursula K. Le Guin and Doris Lessing; Iain (M.) Banks and Brian Aldiss; Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Susanna Clarke, Margaret Atwood and . . . well, we’re struggling now.
But one name that certainly belongs on that list – all the more so, following her shortlisting for the 2014 Man Booker Prize – is Karen Joy Fowler, to whom we wish a very Happy birthday, today.
Her genre credentials are impeccable, beginning with a Philip K. Dick Award shortlisting for her first collection, Artificial Things, followed by the 1987 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, moving through Hugo, Nebula, Tiptree and Sturgeon nominations for short fiction and her début novel Sarah Canary, and crowned by Nebula and World Fantasy Award wins for various pieces of short fiction and for her collection Black Glass. Her work continues to attract genre award shortlistings.
And on the mainstream side, her novel The Jane Austen Book Club was a New York Times bestseller and the basis for a well-received film of the same title, she has won and been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and, of course, her most recent novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, was shortlisted for the Booker.
If you’re new to Karen Joy Fowler’s work, we recommend starting with her SF Masterwork Sarah Canary (paperback | eBook) and then progressing to our selected Gateway Essentials title: the collection Black Glass.
Happy Birthday, Karen!