Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Mahy, Margaret

age novel

(NZ, 1936– )

Margaret Mahy, who spent many years working as a librarian, has won the Carnegie Medal twice: in 1982 for The Haunting and in 1984 for The Changeover. She is an original and somewhat eccentric writer whose work could never be mistaken for anyone else's. She has been writing for many years and for all age groups, and her work for younger children, like The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate (1972), is characterized by a gloriously zany and surreal humour. When she writes for young adults one of her qualities is the fierce intelligence she brings to a genre (the supernatural) in which it is all too easy to be silly and unconvincing. While you are reading a Mahy book, you believe in everything. Her novel Memory (1987) is a wonderfully sensitive and gripping exploration of old age, and in particular of Alzheimer's disease and its effects. A more recent novel, The Other Side of Silence (1995), touches on fairy-tale themes: an old lady in a house in the forest is hiding a terrible secret in a locked room.

Iain Banks, Elizabeth Jolley.


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