Jo Walton Wins Hugo

Things just keep getting better for Jo Walton. Back in May, she won the Nebula for Best Novel with Among Others (Macmillan/Tor; pbk reprint released 1/3/12) and last night, she added the Hugo. As she writes on her blog, “I was surprised and delighted to win a Nebula, I am gobsmacked and awed to win a Hugo.”

She won against some pretty strong competition, including George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons and China Miéville’s Embassytown.

Among Others is about a 14-year-old girl, Morwenna, who recovers from a traumatic childhood with the help of a sympathetic school librarian and through books. It is heavily based on Walton’s own past, with some fantasy elements (in the book, the mother is literally a witch). As she tells Nancy Pearl in the following interview (thanks to Macmillan Library Marketer, Ali Fisher for pointing it out on Uncharted Pages), she couldn’t have published it while her mother was living, because “She would have sued.”

Walton initially wondered if it was legitimate to write an autobiographical fantasy, but characteristically decided to go ahead and do it anyway. She is a bit dismayed by the number of people who say the story reminds them of their own childhoods. Given that, of course, it has strong crossover appeal; VOYA said,  “Morwenna is a complex, quirky character who readers will quickly be drawn to as they join her on her quest of self-discovery.”

The full list of the winners is on the Hugo site.

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