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The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
is a children's fantasy novel by the English author Neil Gaiman, simultaneously published in Britain and America during 2008. The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
traces the story of the boy Nobody "Bod" Owens who is adopted and raised by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered. Gaiman won both the British Carnegie Medal[1][3] and the American Newbery Medal
Newbery Medal
recognizing the year's best children's books, the first time both named the same work.[a] The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
also won the annual Hugo Award for Best Novel from the World Science Fiction Convention and Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book selected by Locus magazine subscribers.[4] Chris Riddell, who illustrated the British children's edition, made the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist. It was the first time in the award's 30-year history that one book made both the author and illustrator shortlists.[5]

Contents

1 Concept and development 2 Plot 3 Publication history 4 Critical reception

4.1 Awards

5 Film adaptation 6 Graphic novel adaptation 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

Concept and development[edit] Gaiman had the idea for the story in 1985, after seeing his then-two-year-old son Mike "pedaling his BMX around a graveyard"[6] near their home in East Grinstead, West Sussex. Recalling how comfortable his son looked there, Gaiman thought he "could write something a lot like The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
and set it in a graveyard."[7][8] When he sat down to write, however, Gaiman decided he was "not yet a good enough writer" and came to the same conclusion as he revisited it every few years. He eventually published it in 2008.[9] Each of the eight chapters is a short story, each set two years apart as the protagonist grows up.[9] Some chapters have analogues to Rudyard Kipling's 1894 work; for example, the chapter "The Hounds of God" parallels the story "Kaa's Hunting".[10] Plot[edit] The story begins as Jack (usually referred to in the novel as "the man Jack") murders most of the members of a family (later revealed to be the Dorian family) except for the toddler upstairs. Unknown to him, the toddler has climbed out of his crib to explore. The toddler crawls out of the house and up a hill to a graveyard where the ghosts find him. They discuss whether to keep him until the Lady on the Grey (implied to be the Angel of Death) appears and suggests that the baby should be kept ("The dead should have charity"). The ghosts accept, and Mrs. Owens (the ghost who first discovered the baby) and her husband, Mr. Owens, become the foster parents. The baby is named Nobody Owens (since Mrs. Owens declares "He looks like nobody except himself") and is granted the Freedom of the Graveyard, which allows Nobody to pass through solid objects when in the graveyard, including its gates. The caretaker Silas (subsequently implied to be an ancient and formerly evil vampire, now reformed) accepts the duty of providing for Nobody. The man Jack is persuaded by Silas that the toddler has crawled down the hill, and he eventually loses the trail. The bulk of the book is about Nobody's (often called Bod) adventures in and out of the graveyard as he grows up. As a boy, he befriends a girl called Scarlett Perkins, and she is eventually convinced by her mother that he is her imaginary friend. It is with her that Bod discovers a creature called the Sleer, who has been waiting for thousands of years for his "Master" to come and reclaim him. The Sleer's greatest duty is to protect the Master and his treasure from the world. Scarlett's parents believe she has gone missing during this adventure and when she returns, consequently decide to move the family to Scotland. Nobody is once captured by the Ghouls and then rescued by his tutor Miss Lupescu, discovering she is a Hound of God (i.e. a werewolf). Bod befriends Elizabeth Hempstock, the ghost of an unjustly executed witch and through a short adventure that includes being kidnapped by a greedy pawnshop owner, finds a gravestone for her. Once he tries to attend regular primary school with other human children, but it ends in a disaster when two bullies make it impossible for him to maintain a low profile. Throughout his adventures, Bod learns supernatural abilities such as Fading (allows Bod to turn invisible, but only if no one is paying attention to him), Haunting (which allows Bod to make people feel uneasy, though this ability can be amplified to terrify them), and Dream Walking (going into others' dreams and controlling the dream, though he cannot cause physical harm). These abilities are taught to Bod by his loving graveyard parents, his ghost teacher Mr. Pennyworth, and Silas. Years pass by, and it is revealed that Jack has still been searching for the toddler that he had failed to kill. He must complete his assignment or his ancient, secret society, the Jacks of All Trades, will be destroyed by the surviving boy. It is revealed that Jack originally went to kill the Dorian family because of a prophecy which stated that Bod would destroy the Jacks of All Trades. On Bod's 14th year at the graveyard, Silas and Miss Lupescu both leave to attend some business. Meanwhile, Scarlett and her mother come back to the town after her parents got divorced, and she and Bod reunite. Scarlett has also made friends with a historian called Mr. Jay Frost who is living in a house not too far from the graveyard. Researching the murder of Bod's family, Scarlett learns that the historian lives in the house that Bod once lived in. Bod visits the house, in an effort to learn more about his family. When showing Bod the room he lived in as a baby, Mr. Frost reveals that he actually is the man Jack; Jack Frost
Jack Frost
is his full, true name. Bod is chased by the man Jack and four other members of the Order, the Jacks of All Trades. Bod and Scarlett escape to the graveyard where Bod is able to defeat each Jack separately, except for Jack Frost. Jack Frost
Jack Frost
takes Scarlett captive in the chamber of the Sleer but is then tricked by Bod into claiming himself as the Sleer's master. The Sleer engulfs Jack Frost
Jack Frost
in an "embrace", and they disappear into the wall, presumably "protecting him from the world", forever. Silas returns, and it is revealed that he and Miss Lupescu are members of the Honour Guard, devoted to protecting "the borders between things". With two other supernatural beings (the Ifrit
Ifrit
Haroun and the winged mummy Kandar), they have fought the Jacks of All Trades throughout the novel (explaining earlier references made by the Jacks to losses in various cities around the world). Though they succeed in destroying the society, Miss Lupescu is killed in battle, to Silas and Bod's great sorrow. Scarlett is shocked and appalled by the events of the night and Bod's questionable actions in the course of defeating Jack Frost
Jack Frost
(though it was the Sleer who killed Jack Frost, Bod knew it would happen and so arranged the events). Silas suggests the best course is to remove most of her memories of Bod and what happened that night. Bod disagrees with Silas, but Scarlett ends up with her memories taken anyway. Silas uses his power of suggestion to convince Scarlett and her mother to return to Glasgow. In the final chapter of the book, Bod is "about 15" and is slowly losing the Freedom of the Graveyard and even his ability to see ghosts. At the end of the book, Silas gives Bod some money and a passport with the name of Nobody Owens. Bod says his good-byes to his family and friends and leaves the graveyard to embark on a new life. Publication history[edit] The fourth chapter, "The Witch's Headstone", was published as a short story in the Gaiman anthology M Is for Magic
M Is for Magic
and in Wizards: Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy
Fantasy
and won the 2008 Locus Award for Best Novelette.[11] The book was released on 30 September 2008 in the United States by HarperCollins[12] and on 31 October 2008 in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury Publishing.[13] The cover and interior illustrations of the US edition were created by longtime Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean; he illustrated the UK edition for the adult market. The simultaneous British Children's Edition was illustrated by Chris Riddell, for which he made the 2010 Greenaway Medal shortlist.[3] Subterranean Press published an American limited edition with a different cover and interior illustrations by McKean. Harper Audio published an audiobook edition read by Gaiman. It includes a version of "Danse macabre" played by Béla Fleck, which Fleck provided after reading on Gaiman's blog that he hoped for "Danse Macabre with banjo in it". It won Audiobook
Audiobook
of the Year (the "Audie") from the Audiobook
Audiobook
Publisher's Association (US).[14] Critical reception[edit] The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
was cited by the American Library Association
American Library Association
for its "delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing", noting its "magical, haunting prose".[7] The New York Times's Monica Edinger was very positive about the book, concluding, "In this novel of wonder, Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
follows in the footsteps of long-ago storytellers, weaving a tale of unforgettable enchantment".[15] Kirkus Reviews awarded it a starred review, claiming that, "this needs to be read by anyone who is or has ever been a child".[16] Author Patrick Ness wrote, "what's lost in forward momentum is more than made up for by the outrageous riches of Gaiman's imagination" and praised the villains.[17] The Independent
The Independent
praised the novel's different tones.[18] Richard Bleiler described the novel as a piece of neo-Gothic fiction echoing back to Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto.[19] In 2013, a blogger recommended The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
for children, describing the premise as "staggeringly original" and the structure "satisfyingly episodic".[20] Awards[edit]

Literary Awards (Gaiman's text) Year  Result[4]

Newbery Medal 2009 Won[21]

Hugo Award
Hugo Award
for Best Novel 2009 Won[22]

Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel  2009 Won[23]

Carnegie Medal 2010 Won[3][24]

British Fantasy
Fantasy
Award for Best Novel 2009 Nominated[25]

World Fantasy
Fantasy
Award for Best Novel 2009 Nominated[26]

Mythopoeic Award for Children's Literature 2009 Nominated[4] 

Chris Riddell
Chris Riddell
made the Greenaway Medal shortlist for his illustrations of the Children's Edition.[3][27] Gaiman and Harper Audio won the 2009 Audie Award for their audiobook edition.[14] Film adaptation[edit] In January 2009, filmmaker Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
signed on to write and direct a film adaptation to Miramax. In April 2012, Walt Disney Pictures acquired the rights and hired Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the film adaptation of Gaiman's novel Coraline, to direct The Graveyard Book.[28] After the studio and Selick parted ways over scheduling and development, it was announced in January 2013 that Ron Howard
Ron Howard
will direct the film.[29] Graphic novel adaptation[edit] Artist P. Craig Russell, along with Galen Showman, Kevin Nowlan, Jill Thompson, David Lafuente, Stephen Scott, Scott Hampton and Tony Harris, has adapted the book into a two-volume graphic novel. The first volume was released on 29 July 2014, followed by the second on 7 October.[30] See also[edit]

Children's literature
Children's literature
portal Fantasy
Fantasy
portal Horror fiction
Horror fiction
portal

Notes[edit]

^ The American writer Sharon Creech
Sharon Creech
previously won both Medals for different books, the 1994 Newbery for Walk Two Moons and the 2002 Carnegie for Ruby Holler. • The British CILIP
CILIP
inherited the Library Association children's book awards when it was created by merger of the library and information professionals in 2001. Around that time, the Carnegie Medal restriction to British publishers and British authors (British subjects) was relaxed to permit nomination of all new books published in Britain originally or nearly so (within three months as of 2012). Gaiman was also eligible for the Newbery Medal
Newbery Medal
as he is resident in the United States, although not a citizen.

References[edit]

^ a b Carnegie Winner 2010. Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2018-02-28. • This retrospective citation of The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
for the 2010 Carnegie Medal (Gaiman's text) displays the Children's Edition with cover art by Chris Riddell, whose interior illustration made the 2010 Greenaway Medal shortlist. ^ "The graveyard book" (first edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2012-11-05. ^ a b c d "Releases for 2010 Awards". Press Desk. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-29. ^ a b c "Gaiman, Neil". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index to Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2012-11-05. ^ "Neil Gaiman: CILIP
CILIP
Carnegie Medal Winner 2010". Press release 24 June 2010. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-11-05. ("Background on Neil Gaiman and The Graveyard Book" in the releases directory.) ^ " Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
Interview: The Graveyard Book". Scottish Book Trust. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  ^ a b Motoko, Rich (26 January 2009). "'The Graveyard Book' Wins Newbery Medal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  ^ Grossman, Lev (26 July 2007). "Geek God". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  ^ a b Kerr, Euan (18 October 2008). "Neil Gaiman's Ghostly Baby-Sitters Club". NPR. Retrieved 2011-06-08.  ^ Schneider, Dean (Mar 2010). "It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child". Book Links. 19 (3): 6–8.  ^ "2008 Locus Awards Winners". Locus Online News. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  ^ "The view from Chapter 8". Neil Gaiman's Official Blog. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  ^ "The Graveyard Book" (Adult Edition). lovereading.co.uk. ^ a b Gaiman, Neil (30 May 2009). "Finally not a bridesmaid actually". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Retrieved 2012-11-05.  ^ Edinger, Monica (13 February 2009). "Raised by Ghosts". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-21.  ^ "The Graveyard Book". Kirkus Reviews. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-21.  ^ Ness, Patrick (25 October 2008). "Ghost Stories". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-25.  ^ Martin, Tim (2 November 2008). "The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-04-24.  ^ Bleilier, Richard.(2004). "21st-Century Gothic", p. 271. Scarecrow Press. ^ Davies, Rebecca (2013-07-31). "Children's Book Blog: Recommended read – The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-08-03.  ^ "2009 ALSC Award Winners". American Library Association. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  ^ "2009 Hugo Awaard Winners". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 2009-08-17.  ^ Doctorow, Cory (28 June 2009). "2009 Locus Award winners". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2011-05-14.  ^ Flood, Alison (24 June 2010). " Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
wins Carnegie Medal". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-24.  ^ "British Fantasy
Fantasy
Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2011-11-04.  ^ "World Fantasy
Fantasy
Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2011-11-04.  ^ "The graveyard book" (Children's Edition). WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-11-05. • Unfortunately, this record from a participating library catalogue is linked to the cover image for another title, and WorldCat
WorldCat
provides no other record for this edition (ISBN 9780747569015). ^ " Henry Selick
Henry Selick
To Direct Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book' In Disney Deal". Deadline.com. April 27, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2012.  ^ " Ron Howard
Ron Howard
in Talks to Direct Disney's 'Graveyard Book' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.  ^ Melrose, Kevin (2014-02-12). "Get a peek at 'The Graveyard Book,' by P. Craig Russell
P. Craig Russell
& Co. Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources". Robot6.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

External links[edit]

The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
in libraries ( WorldCat
WorldCat
catalog) —immediately, UK Adult Edition The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
at Mouse Circus, The Official Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
Website for Young Readers First look at The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
Graphic Novel, Vol 1 —Artist P. Craig Russell examines his proof copy

Awards

Preceded by Bog Child Carnegie Medal recipient 2010 Succeeded by Monsters of Men

Preceded by Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village Newbery Medal
Newbery Medal
recipient 2009 Succeeded by When You Reach Me

v t e

Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
bibliography

Novels

Good Omens Neverwhere Stardust The Sandman: The Dream Hunters American Gods Coraline Anansi Boys InterWorld Odd and the Frost Giants The Graveyard Book The Silver Dream The Ocean at the End of the Lane Eternity's Wheel

Short story collections

Angels and Visitations Smoke and Mirrors Fragile Things M Is for Magic A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff

Picture books

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish The Wolves in the Walls Blueberry Girl Crazy Hair

Short fiction

"Murder Mysteries" "We Can Get Them for You Wholesale" "Snow, Glass, Apples" "How to Talk
Talk
to Girls at Parties" "A Study in Emerald" "I, Cthulhu"

Comic books and graphic novels

Violent Cases Black Orchid The Sandman Signal to Noise Marvelman The Books of Magic The Last Temptation Angela Death: The High Cost of Living The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch Sandman Midnight Theatre Lady Justice Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man Death: The Time of Your Life Midnight Days Only the End of the World Again "Green Lantern/Superman: Legend of the Green Flame" Harlequin Valentine The Sandman: Endless Nights Marvel 1602 Creatures of the Night Eternals "Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"

Screenplays and film adaptations

Neverwhere Babylon 5

"Day of the Dead"

A Short Film About John Bolton MirrorMask Stardust Beowulf Coraline Statuesque Doctor Who

"The Doctor's Wife" "Nightmare in Silver"

Lucifer (TV series) American Gods
American Gods
(TV series) How to Talk
Talk
to Girls at Parties Good Omens
Good Omens
(TV series)

Miscellaneous

Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion The Sandman: Book of Dreams A Walking Tour of the Shambles Two Plays for Voices Neverwhere
Neverwhere
(radio play) 8in8
8in8
(lyrics) Where's Neil When You Need Him? InterWorld
InterWorld
series Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously

v t e

Hugo Award
Hugo Award
for Best Novel

Retro

The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White
T. H. White
(1939) Slan
Slan
by A. E. van Vogt
A. E. van Vogt
(1941) The Mule by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
(1946) Farmer in the Sky
Farmer in the Sky
by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
(1951) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
(1954)

1953–1975

The Demolished Man
The Demolished Man
by Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester
(1953) They'd Rather Be Right
They'd Rather Be Right
(aka: The Forever Machine) by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley (1955) Double Star
Double Star
by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
(1956) The Big Time
The Big Time
by Fritz Leiber
Fritz Leiber
(1958) A Case of Conscience by James Blish
James Blish
(1959) Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers
by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
(1960) A Canticle for Leibowitz
A Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Walter M. Miller, Jr.
(1961) Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land
by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
(1962) The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle
by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
(1963) Here Gather the Stars (aka: Way Station) by Clifford D. Simak
Clifford D. Simak
(1964) The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
Fritz Leiber
(1965) Dune by Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert
(1966, tie) ...And Call Me Conrad (aka: This Immortal) by Roger Zelazny
Roger Zelazny
(1966, tie) The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
(1967) Lord of Light
Lord of Light
by Roger Zelazny
Roger Zelazny
(1968) Stand on Zanzibar
Stand on Zanzibar
by John Brunner (1969) The Left Hand of Darkness
The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
(1970) Ringworld
Ringworld
by Larry Niven
Larry Niven
(1971) To Your Scattered Bodies Go
To Your Scattered Bodies Go
by Philip José Farmer
Philip José Farmer
(1972) The Gods Themselves
The Gods Themselves
by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
(1973) Rendezvous with Rama
Rendezvous with Rama
by Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
(1974) The Dispossessed
The Dispossessed
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
(1975)

1976–2000

The Forever War
The Forever War
by Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman
(1976) Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
by Kate Wilhelm (1977) Gateway by Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl
(1978) Dreamsnake
Dreamsnake
by Vonda N. McIntyre (1979) The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
(1980) The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Joan D. Vinge
(1981) Downbelow Station
Downbelow Station
by C. J. Cherryh
C. J. Cherryh
(1982) Foundation's Edge
Foundation's Edge
by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
(1983) Startide Rising
Startide Rising
by David Brin
David Brin
(1984) Neuromancer
Neuromancer
by William Gibson
William Gibson
(1985) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card
(1986) Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead
by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card
(1987) The Uplift War
The Uplift War
by David Brin
David Brin
(1988) Cyteen
Cyteen
by C. J. Cherryh
C. J. Cherryh
(1989) Hyperion by Dan Simmons (1990) The Vor Game
The Vor Game
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Lois McMaster Bujold
(1991) Barrayar
Barrayar
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Lois McMaster Bujold
(1992) A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge
/ Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1993) Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson
(1994) Mirror Dance
Mirror Dance
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Lois McMaster Bujold
(1995) The Diamond Age
The Diamond Age
by Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson
(1996) Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson
(1997) Forever Peace
Forever Peace
by Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman
(1998) To Say Nothing of the Dog
To Say Nothing of the Dog
by Connie Willis
Connie Willis
(1999) A Deepness in the Sky
A Deepness in the Sky
by Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge
(2000)

2001–present

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling
(2001) American Gods
American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
(2002) Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer
Robert J. Sawyer
(2003) Paladin of Souls
Paladin of Souls
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Lois McMaster Bujold
(2004) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Susanna Clarke
(2005) Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Robert Charles Wilson
(2006) Rainbows End
Rainbows End
by Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge
(2007) The Yiddish Policemen's Union
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
by Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon
(2008) The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman
(2009) The Windup Girl
The Windup Girl
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo Bacigalupi
/ The City & the City by China Miéville (2010) Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
Connie Willis
(2011) Among Others by Jo Walton
Jo Walton
(2012) Redshirts by John Scalzi
John Scalzi
(2013) Ancillary Justice
Ancillary Justice
by Ann Leckie
Ann Leckie
(2014) The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
Cixin Liu
(2015) The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
N. K. Jemisin
(2016) The Obelisk Gate
The Obelisk Gate
by N. K. Je

.