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22 Feb 2013: ‘Mysteries, Marvels, and Margaret Mahy’

Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy (1936-2012), who passed away in July, was New Zealand’s most lively and distinguished writers of literature for children and young adults.

Her work was recognized in her lifetime by the Hans Christian Andersen medal, the Order of New Zealand, the Carnegie Medal (for her supernatural coming of age novels, The Haunting and The Changeover), as well as many other awards. And she was much-loved by her readers, for works such as A Lion in the Meadow; The Boy Who Was Followed Home; The Tricksters; Aliens in the Family; Kaitangata Twitch; Alchemy; Down the Back of the Chair.

Elizabeth Hale, Senior Lecturer in English, University of New England, New South Wales.

Elizabeth Hale, Senior Lecturer in English, University of New England, New South Wales.

Originally from Dunedin, Elizabeth Hale is currently Senior Lecturer in English at the University of New England, in Armidale, New South Wales.

Since September, she has been researching in the UK as a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.  With Sarah Fiona Winters, she is the editor of Marvellous Codes: The Fiction of Margaret Mahy (Victoria University Press, 2005), the first book devoted solely to Mahy’s work. In January, she is hosted a symposium in tribute to Margaret Mahy, at the Cambridge/Homerton Research and Teaching Centre for Children’s Literature.

In this talk, Elizabeth will argue that the power of Mahy’s work comes from her unique intertwining of ideas about security and danger, family and identity, and mystery and magic.  She will refer to a range of novels, chapter books, and picture books from her oeuvre.

'Mysteries, Marvels, and Margaret Mahy' takes place at 6pm on Friday 22 February, 2013 at  Birkbeck University, Main Building, Malet Street, Room 252.  To register a place for this presentation:  http://margaretmahy.eventbrite.co.uk/ or email info.nzsn@gmail.com