Neil Gaiman's 'Ocean' Becomes a Street

The mayor of the British city of Portsmouth will join the author in naming a small street after Gaiman's latest novel, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," on Sunday.
Harper Collins

This Sunday, Neil Gaiman will enjoy a homecoming that offers more than just the traditional mix of nostalgia and an undefinable sense that something fundamental has changed, if only you could put your finger on it. Instead, the Sandman, American Gods and Coraline writer is returning to where he grew up in time to see a street be renamed after his most recent novel.

The official Portsmouth Guildhall blurb for Sunday's "An Evening With Neil Gaiman" -- which consists of a talk and signing session -- says that Gaiman was born in Portsmouth, which isn't exactly true; he was actually born in nearby Portchester. Nonetheless, it's Portsmouth City Council that is celebrating Gaiman's success by naming a bus lane in the town "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," after Gaiman's most recent novel.

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The naming ceremony will take place on Sunday afternoon, with Gaiman and the town's mayor in attendance. When the news was initially announced, Gaiman described himself as feeling "gobsmacked, befuddled, delighted and baffled," adding "when you make things up, you never expect them to creep out into the real world."

Rumors that Damon Lindelof's hometown of Teaneck, N.J., was considering renaming the entire town as "The Hatch" remain sadly unconfirmed at this time.