Margaret Mahy (1936-2012)

Children’s writer Margaret Mahy, 76, died July 23, 2012 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mahy wrote about 40 novels, more than a hundred picture books, and published 20 collections of short stories. Most of her work for young adults had supernatural or SF elements, notably World Fantasy Award nominee The Tricksters (1986), Carnegie Medal winners The Haunting (1982) and The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance (1984), and “highly commended” Carnegie Medal runner-up Memory (1987). A New Zealander, Mahy was the first writer from outside Britain to be awarded a Carnegie Medal.

The Margaret Mahy Medal Award was created by the New Zealand Children’s Book Foundation in 1991 to honor writing and publishing for children. Mahy received a Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing in 2006, recognizing her body of work for children, and a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2006, for services to SF and fantasy.

Mahy was born March 21, 1936 in Whakatane New Zealand, and attended the University of Auckland, graduating in 1958 with a diploma of librarianship. She worked as a librarian until 1980, when she became a full-time writer. She is survived by two daughters and six grandchildren.

See the August issue of Locus for a complete obituary.