Margaret Mahy passed away on Monday 23rd July, 2012.
She was (and is) one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed literary figures. Being awarded many prizes for her literary contribution and talent.
Mahy wrote her first published story at age 7, “Harry Is Bad”.
And in 1969 her book “A Lion In The Meadow” saw her become internationally known.
Margaret Mahy became a full-time writer in 1980 and has written more than 200 books and poems, 120 of which have been translated into 15 different languages.
There has been so much written about Margaret Mahy’s life this past week, that I could go on and on, but I would instead like to tell a personal story about my memories of her books.
In the 80’s I went to Stanmore Bay Primary school, Whangaparaoa. I remember having library time, where my class and I would go to the library and be encouraged to read. We often got to choose a book that the teacher would read to us as we sat on the mat.
Many a time Margaret Mahy stories would be chosen, and thoroughly enjoyed by all. And the teacher would make a point of saying the author’s name, which is partly why I remember so well.
I remember feeling very involved and captured by the stories. They really worked a treat on my imagination, and I loved it!
Then when I was a young teen I was gifted “Dangerous Spaces” by Margaret Mahy (1992). I have never been a great reader, but I remember going on a summer holiday, camping at the beach, and I took my book.
As much as I loved the summer and swimming in the sea, that summer I also really enjoyed reading “Dangerous Spaces”. Truly capturing my imagination and taking me to a whole different place and space.
She was undoubtedly a brilliant writer, with the ability to let her inner child out and capture a child or young person’s attention and imagination so effectively.
Here are a few more stories and articles….
Do you have memories of Margaret Mahy and her stories?