Newswise — As part of the St. Louis Literary Award series of programs honoring 2023 award recipient Neil Gaiman, the Saint Louis University Campus Read Book Talk Series offers opportunities to explore the themes of Gaiman’s work.

Gaiman is the author of “Coraline,” “Neverwhere,” “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane,” “American Gods,” “The Graveyard Book,” “Stardust,” and “The Sandman.” 

He has been honored with both the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. 

The Campus Read will mainly focus on two of Gaiman’s most memorable works, “The Graveyard Book” and “Stardust.” The talks will also feature conversations about other aspects of his work including film, graphic novels and comics, poetry, music, and television.

Saint Louis University launched the Campus Read in 2019 in conjunction with the St. Louis Literary Award. Before 2019, the University sponsored the Common First Year Read for incoming students. Copies of the Campus Read books are available for free to the SLU campus community at the patron desks of all of the University Libraries.  

The Campus Read Book talk series is open to the public with registration. Two events are slated for 2022.

Catch a Falling Star and Put It In Your Pocket: “Stardust in Context

Hosted by Tara Prescott-Johnson, Ph.D., a continuing lecturer in writing programs and a distinguished teacher at UCLA, this presentation will provide a brief overview of the background and publication history of Stardust as well as close analyses of the genre, style, and key scenes in this deeply beloved novel.

Prescott-Johnson is the author of “Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century” (McFarland) and co-editor of Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman (McFarland). She has also served as a consultant for “Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling” for MasterClass and wrote “Diving into the Ocean” for the official program for the National Theatre’s stage adaptation of Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lake. She is currently editing a collection of essays on the first season of Sandman.

The event is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. 

American Dreams - The History of Comics and Neil Gaiman’s “Enter Sandman”

Martin Casas, owner of Apotheosis Comics, and Drew Kupsky, Saint Louis University Digital Resources Librarian, will walk attendees through the history and themes of comics as they parallel American history. The discussion will trace the origins of comics through the decades and how they speak for each generation therein. Culminating in the late 1980s as young comics writer Neil Gaiman enters the genre and redefines comics for the decades to follow. This discussion will provide comic artwork from important works and take questions from the audience.

This event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8. It streamed on Zoom, but it will also take place at Apotheosis Comics & Lounge.

Register Here

Registration for the Spring 2023 events will open at a later date. 

The 2023 St. Louis Literary Award ceremony is on April 13, at the Sheldon Concert Hall. A craft talk will take place on April 14 on the campus of Saint Louis University. 

St. Louis Literary Award 

The St. Louis Literary Award is presented annually by the Saint Louis University Library Associates and has become one of the top literary prizes in the country. The award honors a writer who deepens our insight into the human condition and expands the scope of our compassion. Some of the most important writers of the 20th and 21st centuries have come to Saint Louis University to accept the honor, including Margaret Atwood, Salmon Rushdie, Eudora Welty, John Updike, Saul Bellow, August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim, Zadie Smith and Tom Wolfe.

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.