First published in 2013, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a darkly magical fantasy tale which quickly became a bestseller and has sold 143,616 copies for £1.1m through Nielsen.
This week, publishers Headline have announced they will be publishing a new illustrated edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The hardback edition of Gaiman’s novel will feature illustrations from Melbourne-based illustrator, Elise Hurst. Hurst is an author, illustrator and fine artist specialising in children’s books and “She works in a vintage alternate reality, creating characters we feel we know and worlds we would like to inhabit.”
Hurst stated, “As I was reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane I was taken back to the novels of my childhood. I saw the covers and the illustrations in my head, the feel of the paper and the smell of the binding. My illustration style is taken from the books of the mid 1900s but rendered with a more rugged edge as befits the darkness of this story.”
Neil Gaiman too is excited about this new edition of his book and Hurst’s artwork, he said: “From the first time I saw one of Elise’s illustrations I knew I was looking at a children’s illustration for adults. And The Ocean at the End of the Lane has been described as a children’s book for adults. I imagined Elise illustrating it, and then did everything I could to make it happen. What she made was better than anything I could have hoped for.”
The illustrated edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and Elise Hurst will be published on 12th November 2019 by Headline. The publishing group will also publish a limited deluxe edition of the book which will come in a slipcase with a ribbon and exclusive art print, and to top it all off the book will be signed by the author and illustrator.
What’s more, to celebrate the launch of this stunning illustrated edition, Guardian Live are hosting a special event following the book’s release on the 14th of November. The event will be held at Greenwood Theatre in London with Neil Gaiman and Elise Hurst in attendance and the audience will get a unique insight into their collaboration.
Jennifer Doyle, Headline Fiction publishing director, perfectly sums up this exciting news, she said: “Readers have been captivated by The Ocean at the End of the Lane since it was first published and became a bestseller in 2013, and this beautiful new edition will both delight existing fans and intrigue new readers. Elise’s illustrations create an even richer experience of the novel than ever before and I can’t wait for people to discover how she has interpreted Neil’s words.”