Hundreds farewell Margaret Mahy
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 6:12p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
Hundreds of people gathered in Christchurch this afternoon to farewell children's writer Margaret Mahy at a public memorial service.
The 76-year-old literary genius died last week from cancer, her death making headlines around the world.
She was known for her books, but it was one of her songs that was used to farewell Mahy this afternoon.
Known for her limitless imagination, creativity and naughtiness, the acclaimed children's author made storytime a dream for young children around the world.
The writer, who loved to dress up in a rainbow coloured wig, was remembered by her grandchildren as eccentric and fun loving.
“As a child I remember her dancing through life, laughing loud, and singing with unmatched enthusiasm, which was something which could cause some embarrassment as she often broke out in the can-can in the school carpark,” granddaughter Alice Stowell says.
She published more than 200 titles, including the Lion in the Meadow, The Witch in the Cherry Tree and the Man Whose Mother Wanted to be a Pirate.
Lorrain Day was her editor for 10 years.
“A genial gentle, genuine modest genius, with a wicked sense of humour, but a genius real and true. ‘Real and true’ were important words to her, surprisingly simple and short for a women who knew many complicated ones, who had a rare ability to make up her own words when her vast vocabulary didn't meet her intended meaning.”
Well-known authors read out excerpts of her work and celebrated her wondrous talent as a literary genius.
Author Gavin Bishop is a great admirer of Mahy’s work.
“If you blow away all the pirates, witches and three-legged cats in Margaret’s stories, you are left with stories that are as profound and mysterious as anyone would find in Shakespeare.”
She never lived to see her latest book Mr Whistler in print, which will be on shelves later this year.
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1/08/2012 8:34:11 p.m.
"Some stories are true and some aren't!" For some Margaret Mahy will never die!
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