Terry Pratchett, the "master of humorous fantasy," was knighted on Wednesday for his contribution to literature.
Pratchett is beloved for his Discworld novels that poke fun at other fantasy/scifi writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, and Larry Niven. This popular series has sold 55 million copies and has been translated into 33 languages since the first one was published in 1983.
Like most popular and prolific writers, Pratchett loved reading at an early age, and cites The Wind in the Willows as his favorite childhood book. He wrote his first novel, The Carpet People, at 17.
Although not written for children, Pratchett is pleased that his books are popular with them. He knows how important it is to get children to read because "civilization depends on it."
Sadly, the 60-year-old Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in November 2008, and the writing of his Discworld series has been affected by it. Alzheimer's is a progressive, incurable disease that affects memory and word recall.
Biographical information is from the JCLC database Biography Resource Center (requires a JCLC card and residence in Birmingham, AL; remote access available)
Photo courtesy of AP