Friday 11 January 2008

Before I Die nominated in Spread the Word Campaign!

Before I Die was selected as one of the top 100 books for this year's Spread the Word campaign - the only young adult title on the list. The campaign was started to get people reading and talking about novels of outstanding quality by living writers that haven't been treasured as much as they deserve to be.

The public were able to discuss and vote for their top ten titles on the Spread The Word website and Before I Die made it into the Top Ten shortlist.

Despite not winning, there's no question that Before I Die is still one of the books to talk about in 2008.


Anonymous said...

This book is amazing!!!

i've loved every word of it, a must read for anyone :)

Anonymous said...

I just read this book and I am in awe and bow down to Downham's genius. I haven't read a book that had such a deep impact for a while. I love this book and it's fast going to be one of my favourite reads ever.

lupie said...

I thought long and hard before I decided to read this book as it touches on a raw area close to my heart and I wondered if it would be true and real in its words and thoughts, and it is.
It is a truly amazing read and addresses the one question that everyone is too afraid to ask, "how do you deal with death".
Well done everyone for creating a book that touches both the carers and the individual about death, and allowing the world into that secret area that is usually closed to everyone.
Jenny Downham a huge thank you for being brave enough to address such a powerful subject normally closed to everyone in such a sensitive and emotive way.

Anonymous said...

It has been two months since I finished reading "Before I Die" and still I think of Tessa on a regular basis. The second half of the book is very well written and one of the most memorable things I've read in the last twenty years. Congratulations Jenny, and Thank You!

jastevina said...

I am blown away by this book. It could have been written about my own sister. It touched every emotion within me and is helping me to deal with things I could not deal with. My own daughter has now read the book and is asking me all sorts about her Auntie and by talking with her I am finally healing. I am so curious about the Author.. it's like she is in the persons head and has written it so beautifully it is truly a work of art and a magnificent read. She must be truly proud of her achievement and I for one wish to thank her.

Henrik said...

Hi Jenny,
is the name Dr. James Wilson taken from House M.D.?

Meet the Author video

Jenny Downham talks about Before I Die at

Watch the video here.

Book of the Month

Simon Mayo’s book panel have chosen Jenny’s Downham’s BEFORE I DIE to be one of their two July books of the month.

The programme will air on BBC Radio 5 on Thursday 12th July at 3pm (BST).

Jenny Downham will be appearing on the show to join in the debate, as the book panel and Simon discuss the title.

Visit the web site to find out more.

A message from David Fickling

Dear Reader

Before I Die is a quite outstanding novel by debut writer Jenny Downham, which DFB will be publishing in hardcover this July. We are, by modern standards, publishing Before I Die in record quick time and there is really no time for the usual word of mouth to gather momentum so I am relying on you reading the proof!

I don't want to say very much about the book at all, except for three things:

Firstly, I urge everyone to read Before I Die. You will not be disappointed. It is an extraordinary book. It is both searing, unsentimental and honest and at the same time almost shockingly affirming of life. If anyone has got closer to imagining what it actually means to die (and so to live!) then I have yet to read them. It is, in the proper sense, a joy to read.

Secondly, Jenny Downham is a formidable writing talent and Before I Die is stark, poetic, and both beautifully written and unstoppably readable.

Thirdly, Why are we publishing so quickly? Partly and very plainly because I don't think the public should be kept waiting a single second longer than necessary to read this book. And partly to show we can. Nowadays books sometimes have to wait an inordinately long time to get published. Often a book taken on by an editor is not published for one, two, three years... I have always revered to the nimble publishing of legends of yore like Victor Gollancz who could receive a manuscript in August and have it in the shops by Christmas. A small, personal imprint like DFB can be nimble and quick, SHOULD be nimble and quick.

Especially with literary gold dust in its hands.

Yours sincerely

David Fickling

PS But don't just take my word for it. Rights have already been sold in no less than TEN languages, in less than two weeks.