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Bibliophile price: £1.50
Author of the popular American children's stories "Goodnight Moon" and the "Noisy" series, Margaret Wise Brown's sudden and early death in 1952 was a great loss to fiction. The author of this penetrating biography, however, found hundreds of stories and diaries after her death and has dedicated herself to publishing them. Amy Gary brings to the book an intimate understanding of her subject's thoughts and feelings. Margaret grew up in Long Island, and despite two years at a boarding school in Lausanne, found it hard to focus on getting the grades. She loved parties and looking good, but she also wanted to be a writer and harboured passionate admiration for the writings of Gertrude Stein. When she went to train as a teacher at Bank Street Bureau of Education she found that her boss was looking for an author-editor to complete a major textbook. Margaret soon found she could write well on a given topic and she had the gift of being able to imagine things through a child's eyes. She soon became influential in the company, persuading her colleagues to accept a modernist manuscript from Gertrude Stein. Margaret was devastated when her lover Bill Gaston married someone else, but the affair continued until Margaret met one of Bill's old girlfriends, Blanche, an ex-wife of John Barrymore, whose pen-name was Michael Strange. She and Margaret became lesbian partners and remained so until Michael's death, which was shortly followed by Margaret's own. An interesting life. 288pp, photos, some in colour.

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