Star author Neil guest of honour at seaside road-naming ceremony

HONOURED A road in Southsea will be renamed after a novel by Neil Gaiman
HONOURED A road in Southsea will be renamed after a novel by Neil Gaiman
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WORLD-FAMOUS author Neil Gaiman will delight fans when he attends the naming ceremony of a road named after his latest novel.

Mr Gaiman, who was born in Portchester and grew up in Southsea, is having a road just west of Canoe Lake named The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

The news caused a frenzy among fans around the globe and lots are expected on Sunday, and at the book talk he is giving at the Guildhall in the evening.

He is the author of Stardust – which was turned into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer – and Coraline.

He has also written two episodes of Dr Who and several children’s books.

Councillor Lee Hunt, who is in charge of culture at Portsmouth City Council, said they have pulled off a major literary coup which will put them on the map.

‘It’s going to be a very special event.’

‘Neil Gaiman is a prolific author and screenwriter.

‘He is the top writer of his generation and his family hails from here.

‘The road naming has created a huge amount of interest and adds another layer to our remarkable literary heritage. It will bring more and more people to Portsmouth to discover our links with Charles Dickens, Neville Shute and Kipling.

‘Even Jane Austen wandered around the dockyard when her brothers were in the navy.’

Mr Gaiman, 52, lives in America with his rock star wife Amanda Palmer.

In a recent post on his blog he said: ‘There will be a naming ceremony as a small road by the Canoe Lake becomes The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

‘It points at the Atlantic Ocean – or

at least at the English Channel. If you think I’m delighted by this, you’d be right. But a lot of the delight has to do with all of my Portsmouth relatives, who have all moved to exotic places like Harrow, coming back for the day to watch me beam delightedly at the lane-naming, and to tell me that my grandparents would have been proud.’

The ceremony is at 2.30pm. To buy tickets for the talk, which starts at 7.30pm, call (023) 9282 4355.

Mr Gaiman will be pre-signing copies of his latest novel.

They can be ordered from Blackwells, Portsmouth, by emailing jo.west@blackwell.co.uk. He will sign one other book per person.