By Casey Wilson
It’s become something of a refrain the past few months, my having to pop into the blog with the news that another beloved and respected writer of children’s literature has passed away. Today, it’s Margaret Mahy, a New Zealand writer known for books like the Carnegie medal winning The Changeover. She died yesterday, at the age of 76.
I confess that I have not read any of Mahy’s books over the years, despite the many, many people I have encountered who have professed their love for her work. It seems almost impossible, really, given the 100+ books she has to her name. But the outpouring of admiration and gratitude I have seen from all corners today, particularly from those who shared a country with Mahy, hopefully pegs me as the exception rather than the rule.
The Guardian has a brief obituary for Mahy, which tells of her prolific career and the influence she wielded. So read it, and if you’re already a fan, reread her books. Or if, like me, you have yet to spend time in the world of her books, add The Changeover to your reading list.
Because if there’s anything to be gained from this kind of loss, it’s that the books she left behind might reach new audiences in the wake of her death.
Casey is a PhD student.