Goodbye Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy once told a group of kids how, when she was young, she loved stories so much she started writing to “squeeze myself right into the stories”.

And in the process, she squeezed generations of us into her stories too. I grew up with Mahy’s characters – the Lion in the meadow, the nutty Mr McPhee, the Man whose mother was a pirate – and fell in love with language made magical by such Mahy-isms as The Great Piratical Rumbustification.

While some civilisations developed without the wheel, none has ever existed that didn’t tell stories. And now we’ve lost one of our greatest storytelling legends.

Mahy died on Monday after a brief battle with cancer. But her stories really will keep her living on. We’ll read them to our children and they will to theirs’. And that’s a pretty wonderful legacy to leave.

All of our thoughts are with Mahy’s family and friends at this sad time.

1 Comment Posted

  1. She was also so much more than just a great storyteller – she was a wise, witty and warm human being. I met her several times over the years and travelled on tour with her around Northland – wonderful company and able to connect with every kind of person she met. She was the first writer who ever visited Moerewa and I think every young person from babes in arms to would-be-cool teenagers was there, eagerly responding to her humour. She stayed a couple of days with us in our remote bush property and charmed the whole family, especially the difficult teenager.

    Much loved and will be much missed.

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