Shaun Tan is an Australian artist, writer and film maker. He won an Academy Award for The Lost Thing, a 2011 animated film adaptation of a 2000 picture book he wrote and illustrated. Beside The Lost Thing, The Red Tree and The Arrival are books he has written and illustrated.
Tan was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In 2006, his wordless graphic novelThe Arrival won the Book of the Year prize as part of the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. The same book won the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year award in 2007 and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards Premier’s Prize in 2006.
Tan’s work has been described as an “Australian vernacular” that is “at once banal and uncanny, familiar and strange, local and universal, reassuring and scary, intimate and remote, guttersnipe and sprezzatura. No rhetoric, no straining for effect. Never other than itself.”
For his career contribution to “children’s and young adult literature in the broadest sense” Tan won the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council, the biggest prize in children’s literature.