Monday, July 23, 2012
R.I.P. Margaret Mahy 21 March 1936 - 23 July 2012
Margaret Mahy, one of New Zealand's greatest-ever writers,(I put her up there with Katherine Mansfield), died in Christchurch this afternoon after a brief illness.
Here is a brief biography from the Christchurch City Libraries website:
Margaret Mahy, a brief biography
Margaret Mahy is a former Children's Librarian at Christchurch City Libraries and is one of the world's best and most famous children's authors.
Margaret Mahy was born in Whakatane in 1936, and wrote her first story at the age of seven.
After graduating from Auckland University College and Canterbury University College, in 1955, with a BA, Margaret Mahy then attended the New Zealand Library School in Wellington, received her Librarian's diploma, and then went to work for the Petone Public Library.
In 1967 she worked for the School Library Service in Christchurch. During this time she had stories published in the New Zealand School Journal.
Margaret Mahy's first book to be published was A Lion in the Meadow in 1969.
In 1976 Margaret Mahy was appointed Children's Librarian at Canterbury Public Library.
In 1980 she became a fulltime writer and has gone on to win numerous awards for her books, and honours for her contribution to New Zealand and children's literature.
And from the New Zealand Book Council website.
And at http://www.nzterritory.com/famous/mahy.html
May 2011 - Mahy scoops top children's book prize . The Press
And for much more. including the list of all her titles, go to Wikipedia
Farewell Margaret, I salute you, it has been both an honour and privilege to know you.
One little story from a visit I made to an American library back in the late 1980's. I was in the public library in the small Connecticut town of Westport with the pre-school son of a friend. At one stage I took a photograph of him sitting looking at a picture book and was immediately reprimanded by the librarian who tersely asked "had I not seen the sign saying no photography?". I apologised and upon noticing my accent she asked me where I was from. New Zealand I said. Oh my she said I don't suppose you know Margaret Mahy? Indeed I do I said, I know Margaret very well. Oh in that case she said please feel free to take as many photographs as you like! She then gave me a guided tour of the library which included two large full colour posters featuring Margaret and her books. And she talked endlessly and enthusiastically about Margaret's genius and about listening her speak at a librarian's conference.And then insisted on making me a cup of coffee. Such was Margaret's reputation and influence.
The Guardian acknowledges Margaret
And at stuff.co.nz
The New Zealand Herald