Literary Birthday – 21 March – Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy was born 21 March 1936, and died 23 July 2012.

Nine Quotes

  1. Every writer has to find their own way into writing.
  2. I decided to be a writer when I was about seven, but of course it is not as simple as that. Like most writers, I had to work at other things to earn a living and wrote mainly in the evenings, often very late at night, for many years.
  3. Reading is very creative – it’s not just a passive thing. I write a story; it goes out into the world; somebody reads it and, by reading it, completes it.
  4. For in some ways the world was like a shopping centre, and he himself was a doubtful customer, often ineffectual, being talked into buying things he didn’t want, things indeed which nobody in their right mind would want to buy.
  5. I think books create a sort of network in the reader’s mind, with one book reinforcing another. Some books form relationships. Other books stand in opposition. No two writers or readers have the same pattern of interaction.
  6. Fear can give you urgent wings.
  7. Being a librarian certainly helped me with my writing because it made me even more of a reader, and I was always an enthusiastic reader. Writing and reading seem to me to be different aspects of a single imaginative act.
  8. My own everyday life seems to retreat so the life of the story can take me over. That is why a writer often needs space and time, so that he or she can abandon ordinary life and ‘live’ with the characters.
  9. People can say what they like about the eternal verities, love and truth and so on, but nothing’s as eternal as the dishes.

Margaret Mahy was a New Zealand author of children’s and young adult books. She wrote more than 100 picture books, 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories. Mahy won the annual Carnegie Medal for The Haunting in 1982 and The Changeover in 1984.

Click here to see the author

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 21st March 2015